3 siding

The last of our remaining stocks of ballast at Castlemaine were dropped onto 3 siding today, allowing us to finish tamping and build enough of a ballast shoulder to prevent too much settling.

4 siding has also been lifted and packed up to the door to allow for filling with crushed rock/gravel next week to fulfill the requirements under the permit to finally get a certificate of occupancy! Very exciting times.

The end result looks pretty good, a few tweaks to come back to after it’s bedded in following a bit of use, but it’s now some of the best track on the railway and it’s only a siding!

We’ll be meeting here again tomorrow, as we begin preparations for next week’s big job during the V/Line shutdown. From 8am at the big red shed.

3 siding Castlemaine

Today was all about ballasting and lifting 3 siding to remove the severe gradient.

So far 2 wagon loads of ballast have been used and to finish off the job about another half a wagon will be needed.

But after today’s efforts we now have a much more appropriate grade, it’ll be a 1 in 100 when we’re finished, which is very gentle by our standards. It’s quite amazing just what an improvement this has made to the appearance of the track work here.

We’ll be back here for the next few days just finishing off and getting everything ready for the upcoming work beside V/Line.


Another busy one today, with 183 concrete sleepers dropped off at Rowe Street ready for some major sleeper renewals alongside V/Line in the coming weeks during a big mainline shutdown.

We have also made a big leap forward in the construction of 4 siding outside the carriage shed.

We needed to borrow a couple of rails so we still need to bring a few in to finish it off, however we’ve broken the back of it, with everything clipped up and ready for ballasting.

And we’ve even run our first works train over the new 3 siding track to move various things into the right place for ballasting next week.

We’re starting to make great headway, in the yard here, but there will still be plenty more to come.

Next workday will be Tuesday back in Castlemaine from 8am.

Carriage Shed

Today was again very successful, with it being a day of clipping up and preparing for ballasting.

A frosty rather freezing start did turn into a rather stunning day thankfully.

We began by tweaking the positioning of the concrete sleepers ready for clipping up.

A very small tweak to the curve made it look quite stylish (a bit strange still with it’s steep grade but much better)

We’ve even replaced any failed timber in 3 siding, allowing us to undertake the required tamping works needed to lessen the grade into the shed.

As we ran into the same fishplate problem that we always do when using concrete sleepers, we decided it was wasteful to use all of our good bar plates in the yard, so we’ve modified some of the old 80lb plates from 6 holes into 4 holes, by cutting off the end. Perfectly adequate for our needs here.

We even finished installing any missing bolts in 4 siding, as we expect it’s traffic will increase with the move to Castlemaine.

We also knocked together 5 siding inside the shed, in what seemed like no time at all! We’re getting the hang of it now… Just in time to finish the job.

We’ll begin installing 4 siding outside the shed tomorrow, and will hopefully begin a ballast drop on 3 siding, ready to begin tamping. Meeting Castlemaine from 8am.