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If you are a reader of this blog in recent times you would certainly come away with the conclusion that all be do is track work and a few other odd bits and pieces.
In a sort of a way this is partially true at the moment. To explain, it was just on twelve months ago the we launched standard gauge train operations after tinkering around the edges since 1995 when we first provided locomotive on the "skinny gauge'. The recent foray came about partly because of customer requirements and as you all know when the customer wants to pay, you do your best to please.
The present 4 carriage standard gauge train is only the beginning of much bigger plans and aspirations. Behind the scenes there has been a lot of effort expended on planning for the next moves. While we are not yet prepared to announce the actual details of what comes next, we do need track space. Standard gauge rolling stock needs standard gauge track to support it. hence the big focus in the last six months to build the track ready for the rolling stock.
What we can say is that we need space for up to five locomotives and around 10 carriages.
Whilst much effort is related to standard gauge track and planning for future operations, other things are still moving along although become a little routine in comparison.
We begin with good old X31 resting between assignments. This is Tuesday.23rd July and the X is stabled out of the way around the back of the signal box. With gauge conversion broad gauge track space is at a premium and so locos can end up almost anywhere!_________________________________________________________
The task of building 15 and 16 tracks is almost complete.____________________________________________________________
Looking from the other end we see that 16 track still needs the rails fastened to the sleepers.____________________________________________________________
In between other assignments Robbie is plodding away on P23. Hood doors are the current task. many need bents removed and twists eliminated. It is possible to fill the dents with bog but lots of bog is fundamentally an unsound practise. Rob prefers (and we agree) to shrink the sheet metal combined with go old panel beating to get the door as even as possible and then finish off with a bit of bog._________________________________________________________l
Next week the slow but steady re-sticking of 2AE is moving on. Volunteers working on this car come in on Tuesdays The first side is nearing the finish line as far as the bit below the window is concerned.____________________________________________________________
A week later on Tuesday 30th and Max assisted by Gerard are heading down the second side. It seems that Gerard is getting into Max who is withdrawing and backing away!_________________________________________________________
We don't know if this is now a stand off or what. But it seems that Gerard is painting the tongues of the next timber to be fitted and Max is getting ready to fit it. Max has got a guide timber screwed along the bottom of the wall which he is using to sit each stick upon thus getting the bottom edges even. The top does not matter sop much as there is a cover strip to go on later.__________________________________________________________
Elsewhere David is inside 26BE. he is undertaking the final compartment assembly. One arm rest is being fitted with the opposite side assembly on the floor as the next task.___________________________________________________________
Out in the corridor, the bottom door tracks have been dropped of in approximate position. Some of the draft strips for the doors are fitted with other no doubt to follow._____________________________________________________________
In another compartment, the lino laying is done and the edge strips are secured. It looks like seats will be next followed by the arm rests.
Since the last shot featuring X31 things have moved on. The loco was due for its annual inspection but it has also been requested by Qube to satisfy a requirement for additional horsepower for a few months. All that see the loco over the pit for its inspection and attention to a few minor matters.___________________________________________________________
Stepping back we can now see more of what is going on in the shed. With the main part of P23 finished, door panels are being worked on in the foreground.__________________________________________________________
A day or so later (Thursday 1st August) Oube's B76 and B80 are in our head shunt coupled to S303 and X31. Qube have hired both locos and have stopped one of their up trains to pick up the extra power.______________________________________________________________
With the locos back on the train, the photographer raced out to Schoolhouse Lane and captured the next three shots of the two Bs, S303 and X31 charging the grade ahead.____________________________________________________________
As power is increased, the locos are accelerating for the grade in the distance.
The exhaust haze is obvious as the engines begin to clear out after not having worked hard for a while.____________________________________________________________
After the excitement of the S and X leaving for their work assignment. Robbie is also in action on his own assignment with the air powered sander._________________________________________________________
The gang have been in and have gone. The evidence shows that 16 track assembly has been finished.__________________________________________________________
Well actually they have not gone as one team member in the form of Dean is now showing his lifting technique moving a sleeper. The dismantling of the broad gauge modified three throw (M3T) turnout between 17, 18 and 20 tracks is now in hand. Some rails are out with others yet to follow.___________________________________________________________
Later in the day and Brandon is on the little machine dragging away rails while Dean issues the orders.
The following week and the M3T rails are gone as is the old timbers. Digging out of the ballast and remaining bits of wood is being done with the little machine. It is early afternoon and the task is just about done._________________________________________________________
At the end of the day the view is different. The gang members look on at their handywork. To the side the rails are waiting for re-installation.___________________________________________________________
The day after is Wednesday 14th August. Near the rear of our land behind the carriage sheds a neighbour has asked us to deal with a tree that is overhanging his fence and shed. While trimming the tree this picture was captured showing a different angle that what we normally see. To describe the tree as trimmed is a little erroneous. It was trimmed initially to clear the overhanging branches before being trimmed at ground level and the the remains fully disposed of._________________________________________________________
After a morning of tree trimming, back to the M3T turnout and end of day sees all the rails roughly aligned on the timbers.___________________________________________________________
The next week a shunt was necessary to extract a couple of vehicles for inspection and assessment with regard to up coming gauge conversion planning. B74 was conveniently placed and so used for the motive power. Whilst part way down the back of 5 track, the driver captured this shot and has forwarded it for your pleasure. Another different angle not normally seen.______________________________________________________________
Its now Wednesday 21st and surprise-surprise, more track work. Shane to the left and Dean are putting in R screws with the big Tee spanner. When building turnouts the first bits to get tied down are the straight legs. They are aligned by eye and the first leg secured. Using a track gauge the other leg is then also tied down. By aligning by eye it is quite easy to get alignment correct to ma couple of millimetres._______________________________________________________________
The straight legs are screwed down and all is well! To be truthful though it is every third timber that has been spiked. The intermediates will be done tomorrow._____________________________________________________________
Doesn't that look lovely. Partly assembled turnouts excite us.
The lead to 20 track looks like it needs some attention. The end of the concrete sleepered track will need to be aligned left around 130 mm to connect it up. __________________________________________________________
More of Robbie's handiwork. The engine hood top hatches have been dealt with as well as some more side doors. Against the wall in the near background are finished doors whilst in the distance are a few yet to be attended to.__________________________________________________________
Last week a Victorian Goldfields Railway member came by with a trailer to pick up the bits and pieces still on hand from T333. There are two pallets of engine parts and a couple of number plates going to Maldon._____________________________________________________________
The M3T is now assembled apart from the four timbers for the hand levers. A keen eye might note that the curves look a bit 'flat'. When plain turnouts are gauge converted, the vee crossing is usually relocated towards the toe by a factor of 165 times the crossing angle. This translates to 165 times 6 or 7.52 meaning the turnout becomes around 1000 mm or 1200 mm shorter. The curve radius also tightens up in this process.
When it comes to M3Ts though it is not as easy as that because of the two crossings that are connected together on the left hand side in this view. The curve radius cannot be altered in this area which means the curve adjustments are between these crossings and the heel of the points. Some movement of the position of the vee crossings compared to the heels are done but it is a dimensional balance. The net result is the turnout is fully within parameters but looks a bit different._________________________________________________________
The assembled turnout looking the other way. The tools are dumped in a heap at our feet. Twenty track to the right has been connected up as it has already gauge converted whereas 17 and 18 to the centre and left are yet to be tackled._________________________________________________________
A final view for this time sees some of the ballast placed. The lever timbers are still outstanding. ________________________________________________________
Ballast tamping should happen in the next couple of weeks. In the mean time we will be starting on gauge conversion of 17 track.____________________________________________
Preparation of P23 for final rub down before applying colour is getting close. ________________________________________
We also expect to start on the next rolling stock gauge conversions. __________________________
Watch this space.______________
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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