National Park line – Pole replacements and storm damage repairs – Winter 2016

The big ‘East Coast Low’ storm of early June 2016 caused damage to the overhead on the Royal National Park line. The line was closed to all trams as a result. It took several weeks for our regular pole installation contractors to be able to get to us, (being very busy due to the storm) and 4 new poles were installed on Monday the 27th of June.

The fallen pole. The tree that fell and hit this pole had already been cleaned up before this photo was taken.

With the power safely isolated, museum staff remove the fittings from the fallen pole for reuse. The pole was then cut into sections and removed from the line.

This wasn’t the only tree down in the area. On the Sunday morning, in the cold and rain, an Ausgrid crew worked to remove a tree that fell during the night, from the 11kv power lines that feed the museum. The museum had no power at all for several hours. The RMS had bought in a small petrol generator to power the Rawson Ave/Prince’s Highway traffic lights.

The museum had a few weeks wait for the pole contractors. Their services were in heavy demand following the storms. They arrived on Monday the 27th of June with 4 new poles, 1 to replace the fallen pole, 2 more for other locations on the Royal National Park line and 1 for the Sutherland line. A crew of two with a specialist truck quickly get the new poles in.

With the new poles in place the overhead team organised a work day on Saturday the 2nd of July and after a solid days work got the bracket arms onto 3 new poles, repaired some other minor damage and inspected the line, performing other minor but necessary maintenance tasks like lubricating the curves.

The workshop wanted to take Ballarat 12 out for a longer test run, so a full inspection of the line was undertaken using No 12.

Installing the ‘bracket arm’ on a new pole.

Adjusting a cross arm

Adjusting a cross arm

Ballarat 12 on a test run