Rail Recovery

Well it’s getting close to being a done deal, as far as getting the rail onto our railway anyway.

We’ve managed to sled as far as we physically could, which is about 110m shy of the end of for track.

The afternoon was spent bundling and collecting up the jewellery between the end of the sledding and Moscript St.

Interestingly there was a small memorial made from fastenings to mark the end (almost the end anyway) of the rail recovery part of the job. We can’t claim credit for this work (artist unknown), but it did seem fitting that Mick and Will got a snap of this quite clever piece of work before the jewellery was loaded up and taken away.

The end is near, however going by the sleeper condition the end was very near anyway as the rail was really only holding onto the sleepers by rust and rock against the rails.

A few sleepers have been lifted, only thousands more to go now! Unfortunately, the vast majority are basically the quality of the kindling that can be seen on the left, this makes the job quite time consuming but it is what it is.

Tomorrow we’ll run another rail train or two to start clearing the great backlog of rail that’s amassing around the junction. We’ll also have a small crew collecting jewellery down towards Moscript St. if we have enough numbers. Meeting around the junction at 8am or between the junction and Moscript street thereafter.

Rail Recovery

A small gang of 4 today, but given all the preparations done by the past few gangs, we have just about set a record for the amount of track sledded in one day.

Approximately 700m of rail has been sledded and dragged up towards the junction.

Getting us to just short of the Lawrence St. Bridge. This is a very big step towards the end of the project, with only about 300m of rail still to be sledded.

Tomorrow we’ll be back here, hopefully sledding another 100m before we run into all the stockpiled rail. We’ll then turn our attention to collecting all the jewellery and getting rails ready for cutting on Thursday. (well do the final sledding then).

Meeting Maldon Junction from 8.15am.

Rail Recovery

Another successful day, all the loose rail near the junction was broken into it’s lengths and stacked beside our track ready for carting away.

We have even sledded and dragged up to the junction another 300m of rail, from Moscript St.

We are hoping to sled on Monday and Tuesday next week, which should hopefully see the rail lifting part of the job done. With a bit of luck by the end of the next fortnight, we’ll have most of the jewellery stockpiled and a good number of the sleepers out of the roadbed too.

There’s still a chance we might be all done be Xmas, so if you’re feeling like an extra day on the gang sounds alright, you’d be more than welcome.

Meeting between Moscript St and the Junction from 8am on Monday.

Rail Recovery

Today was a very busy day. An enormous amount of rail has been cut and stacked beside the track.

We have in fact cut all of the loose rail that required it, with only around 15 loose lengths still remaining (they just need unbolting) and the section from Moscript to the Junction to be sled and we’ll have all the rail onto our railway! A massive effort.

A nice morning was followed by a nice day. Both diggers were in fine form after being freshly serviced and some new tyres fitted to the little digger it was like poetry in motion. We did have a couple of little hiccups but nothing that cost us more than a few minutes.

We had so many people today, so we broke into two groups, one loosening bolts and removing the last of the anchors, the other cutting rail.

The rail cutting gang consisted of a new crew.

Our railway is playing host to a pilot training scheme for people looking for a career in railway maintenance. We’re able to offer the trainees the hands on experience they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get, unless they had already secured a job in the industry. So far they’re proving extremely keen and a value to our workforce! Keep up the great work lads.

The anchor removers, we’ve decided this is the worst job of whole project, did a massive effort, leave only a few hundred metres to go tomorrow before we can start sledding.

Believe it or not, all the coloured marks do mean something, it’s largely for sorting into stockpiles and ensuring we install the correct (generally previously unused) running edge.

And just because all that wasn’t enough, we threw a train into the mix! Another 35 odd 80lb rails were loaded up to give us enough room to continue stacking rail. There haven’t yet been dropped out, that’ll be on a quiet day next week.

All that rail towing has seen a significant groove dug into the pedestrian crossings, so that was remedied before we left the site.

After a massive day’s effort from everyone, a nice shady spot was found for a wind down cuppa.

We’ll be back out tomorrow from 8.15am at the junction breaking up the last few loose rails and removing more anchors.