Behind the scenes – Caring for our National Park line

concrete_sleepersWith a heavy summer school holiday programme planned for the beginning of 2007, the Museum undertook a significant track upgrading project to ensure that services could run without interruption on every advertised day.

Board member, Danny Adamopoulos explains, “the Museum opted to insert concrete sleeper instead of the existing timber sleepers. The work was carried out over five days by Track Australia early in December.

“Although more expensive to install, the decision to go to concrete was to ensure maximum life of the sleeper and reduce maintenance in the long term and avoid risk from bushfire damage – previous bush fires in the Royal National Park resulted in many sleepers being burnt. Timber sleepers last approximately 20 years in perfect conditions, our new concrete sleepers will last us up to 50 to 60 years with the Museum’s traffic loadings.

NP_trackwork

“A one in three ratio of concrete to timber sleepers was applied to all curves and a one in six applied on straight track. The project saw 250 sleepers replaced! In 2007, we will need to replace a further 250 timber sleepers with concrete ones to maintain the track to our required operating standard.

“The Sydney Tramway Museum would like to thank the generosity of the members who helped fund the sleeper replacement programme in 2006. We would also like to thank Track Australia for their ongoing support.”

Photographs are by the writer.