Bridge and Turnout

With the takeuchi back in action, we had a bit of tamping work still to go at Muckleford Creek Bridge. However we did need to top up the ballast a bit, so today was the first proper use of the hirail tipper.

It’s got a couple of tail gates, this one has has ballast shoots (we took one side deflector off to prevent it going over the bridge edge, we left the other side on, however that didn’t work so well).

It worked an absolute treat, with the three different shoots being controlled by air independently, making it very flexible.

Once we’ve got a ready supply of ballast again, we expect this to get a lot of use.

Once all of that excitement had passed, we headed up to Maldon, where a works train had dropped off a wagon full of turnout bits for us.

We then proceeded to do an approximate drop out of rails ready for Thursday’s crew to get into construction mode.

It’s amazing how quickly they go from looking like a pile of bits into a turnout.

Thursday’s gang will be meeting at Maldon from 8am.

Turnout preparation

It wasn’t an overly exciting day today, however we did manage to amass the majority of the hardware needed to do the turnout job.

One item we needed a few more of were a certain type of bar plate, which we had, but had in use in the track at Muckleford. So one of today’s tasks was swapping those over for short angle plates, releasing the bar plates for where they’re needed in Maldon.

Among our many little bits of pieces collected from across the railway we picked up the now repaired piece for the hitch on the Takeuchi. So, on our way back to Maldon this arvo, that was fitted up, and now it’s back in action!

As such Tuesday’s workday will be back at Muckleford Bridge, where a small bit of tamping is still required. Meeting Maldon 8am or out on site from 8.30am.

Turnout Preparations

We’ve begun the preliminary works for the renewal of the 2/3 road turnout at Maldon. The old one is well and truly life expired. With thanks to a grant from VicTrack, we’ve been able to purchase two full sets of turnout timbers.

We did begin today with a big pack up of all the bridge repair gear, tidying up both trucks and storing our tools away safely in their respective homes.

The main task of the day way sorting the two sets of points timbers, from a random mix of packaged timber, to two distinct sets. This takes far longer than you’d expect, taking the bulk of today to achieve.

Unfortunately we were troubled by a slight hydraulic leak, however it was quickly remedied with a replacement hose.

The timbers not required for this turnout were bound up, this helps prevent warping and twisting of the timber, and allows for much more logical stacking and storage.

The precise location of the replacement turnout was determined, and a ground plan was drawn up for its nearby construction, this will allow us to work on this as time permits over the next few weeks and once complete we’ll slew it into the track. We’ll cover all the details of the new turnout as the project progresses.

It looks quite impressive with the timbers all dropped out in their rough locations.

The plan for tomorrow is to continue getting materials up to the turnout location here in Maldon preparing for construction to begin next week. Meeting at Maldon from 8.00am

Another Pile

The last pile for this year’s bridge program was replaced today. Unfortunately the removal proved to be the trickiest part, with the old bolts taking several hours to get out.

Once we’d taken the old pile out and renewed the sill, we were able to trim the prepared pile to the correct length.

We drafted in the big digger with it’s grabs to make the job a little easier.

And easy it was, from picking the pile up to the final tweaks was less than 10 minutes, much easier than Tuesday’s method of slinging it with a chain.

Once the props were out, a little gentle weight from above to settle everything is always wise before backfilling.

And backfilled! If the bolts had chosen to behave themselves and come out easily this morning, we would have had enough time to bolt up the new pile, however at least it’ll keep tomorrow’s crew busy.

Tomorrow’s gang will head out from Maldon at 8am and be on site from 8.30am onwards.