Another extremely successful day today, with the whole of Curve 8 now rerailed and almost all of the UP leg to Rifle Range Bridge.

We didn’t quite keep up the pace of Tuesday’s crew, however that was almost solely due to being down a couple of our regulars today.

However even just travelling over in the gang truck, the ride difference is quite incredible, very smooth and comfortable!

By day’s end, which was brought on prematurely by the rain, we’re within spitting distance of Rifle Range Bridge.

We still actually need to conform exactly how many rails we installed today, however we’re fairly confident it was 14 x 40m lengths and 1 x 18m length, a total length of 575m, which is very very close to Tuesday’s effort!

Tomorrow’s crew, depending on numbers, will either install the last length towards the bridge or just cut in the closure and then move onto a few other jobs in the afternoon. We’ll be meeting at Rifle Range Bridge, entry along Martin Street Castlemaine, around 8.30am.

Time’s running out quickly for anyone who would like to experience the existing 60lb while it’s still in the mainline, we’d recommend not leaving it until the end of June, or the majority of it will be gone!


Well, we’ve managed to fix the issue of not being able to upload photos, however it turns out that that feature is pretty useless if you forget to take photos in the first place!

Which is unfortunate, because it is possible, without going through the records in detail, that today was actually an all-time record setter for length rerailed…. we’ll check the records to confirm that one.

600m of 80lb rail was installed today, a total of 15 lengths of 40m rail.

9 of those lengths went into the straight on the up side of Boundary Track, with the other 6 going into the high leg of Curve 8, leaving only one length to go until we’re out of the curve (obviously the whole low leg still needs to be done also).

It’s all about the preparation, and we could speed up the process even more if we didn’t need to accommodate trains!

Anyhow, given today’s progress and amount of preparation already undertaken down towards Rifle Range Bridge, there is a very high chance we’ll reach there, at least on one leg, by Friday.

Now given the rather awkward access into the area we’re currently working in, Thursday’s crew will meet up at Boundary Track at 8.15 (Maldon at 7.45am), where we’ll load our stuff onto the gang truck and back down to the site.


As promised, today saw the remainder of the trees removed from the embankment between Rowe Street and the Bridge.

The difference is phenomenal! Well worth dropping past to check it out, even better if seen from the train. Massive thanks to Vline and their contractors for making this happen.

We even tidied up the spindly stuff with the mower to make it look just that bit better.

Today’s crew worked on clearing away the mess of dead Blackberries on the other side of Rowe Street, much improved. Hopefully we can work with the neighbours to get a bit more of this removed, however they weren’t home today, so we’ll try again next time.

Next week’s program is back into re-railing. Tuesday’s gang meeting Maldon 8am or out at Boundary Track from 8.30am.

Re-railing Preparations and Trees

Today saw a very good amount of re-railing preparation undertaken, with the section from Boundary Track to Rifle Range Bridge very much ready to have it’s rail changed in the coming weeks. However without a digger, no actual re-railing was able to take place.

Lots of spikes were pulled.

Any rails that could be drilled were, which should save a significant amount of time on re-railing day.

In a slightly rear appearance on the Blog, our signalling engineer Gary was spotted changing over a faulty flashing light head at Bendigo Road Level Crossing. Unfortunately the signalling department often don’t quite make the blog as we’re often not on hand with a camera to catch them in action.

The reason for no digger, was that they were both on hand by Rowe Street today, assisting V/Line in clearing vegetation from near the Johnstone Street Arch Road Bridge. There is still a little more to go tomorrow, but the weedy poplars that have infested that bank for many decades are now on their way out. This is to help improve the drainage at the bridge, which has proven to be working less than desirably and to improve crossing visibility. This sort of job is far bigger than we could normally handle in house, so having V/Line and their contractors available to do the works, making use of our excavators to haul the felled branches into a chipped is a win – win for everyone.

Tomorrow’s gang will meet at Rowe Street Level Crossing from 8.30am, where we’ll also undertake some minor vegetation works near the crossing.