TAFE Crossing points

Sutherland line closure for points installation, December 2018

This project is to install the points at TAFE crossing that will eventually become the end of the museum’s double track section. A Melbourne point mechanism is being installed, and the crossing diamond is one recovered earlier in the year from Anzac Pde, Kensington and is thus a ‘genuine’ Sydney tramway track component.

For the foreseeable future these points will be locked out of use

This project was intended to be completed before New Years, but the wild weather in Sydney during the last week resulted in many local builders cancelling their concrete orders, so the local concrete plant shut down early. The museum order is not large enough to warrant opening the plant. The concrete plant doesn’t expect to open till the 4th of January.

After assembly up at Waratah loop, the ‘prefabricated’ assembly was moved down to TAFE in two sections.

On Friday the 21st of December the Sutherland line was formally closed beyond TAFE and the track lifted for 36m north of the crossing slab. This was levelled and then the points placed into position and welded back into one unit.

Martin Pinches / Matthew Geier

Saturday 22nd December

It was originally planned to concrete, but the early shutdown of the local concrete plan put an end to that plan. The rails between the points and the crossing were placed and welded.

Matthew Geier

Saturday 29th of December

The next panel of rails was cut and welded into position and the track straightened. The track drain frames were also welded into position.

Matthew Geier

Saturday 12th of January

The local concrete plant has restarted. 12m³ of concrete was ordered. 15m³ turned up. With a crew of CSO and Museum workers, this was placed, locking various bits of the track into position. The remaining sections need more aligning before they to get locked in with concrete.

Martin Pinches

Saturday 2nd February 2019

After another delay due to the Australia day public holiday, we were able to purchase another 8 cubic metres of concrete to finish most of the 4 foot on the related track. There is now only 2.5 linear metres of track left to finish. This will be done in the 2 weeks as some minor adjustments need to be done on the track before it can be finished concreting. This can only be done after this recent load of concrete cures to prevent cracking of the recently poured concrete.

Martin Pinches

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

Another 3.6 cubic metres of concrete was poured at the TAFE crossing track relay in the 6 foot and Western Cess by the Wednesday infrastructure crew.

Danny Adamopolous

Tuesday night 12th February 2019

Completed lifting the dipped rail the maximum we could without cracking the previous concreted sections. The head was welded and the replacement western running rail was started to be welded in.

Danny Adamopolous

Wednesday 13th February 2019

2m³ of concrete arrived and the Wednesday crew completed the western cess from the crossing all the way to the points now as well as the 4 foot where the rail joint was lifted the night before. The next evening the last bit of rail was welded into position and everything is now ready for concreting on Saturday.

Saturday 16th February 2019

An intensive week to complete the track for traffic operations to recommence over the entire Sutherland Line for our our Feb 24 special event saw multiple work days through week to get the job done. Many thanks to those members who worked well past midnight and multiple days in a row to get the project finished in time.

Danny Adamopolous (text and images)

Sunday 23rd March 2019

Excess spoil from the South Hill track relay was dumped here and then leveled out to give a smooth transition from the previous ground level to the new concreted track level. Now the gardening team will take over, plant new turf and get the grass growing; giving the area a finished appearence

In December last year (2018), a new set of points were installed near the TAFE crossing. This project was completed to a point that allowed the line to be reopened for traffic, but it was not completed.

This month - November 2019 - the line has been closed again to finish this construction off and it is hoped to finish this in the next 4 or 5 weeks.

9th November 2019

The trackbed has been excavated and the conduits for the negative feeder installed. The rails are laid out ready for welding.

16th November 2019

The rails were welded and by the end of the day were ready for concreting next weekend.

23rd November 2019

More welding and preparations for concrete. Welding has been held up by total fire bans. However, enough track and formwork is in place to take concrete if any is offered.

Photographer: Matthew Geier


December has rolled around and due to the extreme weather we have experienced, this project has suffered delays. Between firebans preventing welding from being completed (A fire ban also means 'hot works' ban), one of our welding volunteers has also been called away for 'emergency work' work by his employer, so has not been able to put in the time when the weather did allow.

14th December 2019

First concrete!. (Donated surplus). It was 'going off' by the time the truck arrived, so it was rush panic job!

Photo by Martin Pinches

4th January 2020

A couple of members who had some time off over the Holiday season took the opportunity to finish the welding and levelling work. On Friday the 3rd they discovered the local concrete plant had re-opened early for a job and 2m³ of surplus concrete arrived. During the super hot Saturday the 4th they moved the formwork forward and completed the levelling. The rest of the worksite is now ready for concrete.

The colours of the photos are odd due to the effect of smoke haze on the colour of the sunlight.

Wednesday 8th January, 2020

A good load of concrete was placed, really moving the project along.

Photos: Danny Adamopoulos

Saturday 11th January 2020

More concrete was placed and the 'cess' concreting reached the end of the refurbished track. Once this has cured, trams will be able to run past this point. Between here and Army a number of timber sleepers needed replacing and the CSO workers installed 8 new sleepers the same day.

Photo: Matthew Geier

Saturday 18th January 2020

The formwork was stripped and the cess back filled. The '4ft' still needs to be filled, but the track is structurally complete.

Scrubber 11 made a test run and scrubbed and washed out the grooves.

Photos: Daniel Nguyen

23rd May 2020

A slight diversion on the works schedule. With Sutherland council's upgrade of Rawson Pde nearing completion - with the TAFE crossing to the Museum almost completed, the council will want to re-instate the footpath into the TAFE. Many years ago the council had simply put a concrete path over the tracks. Recently we had to dig this out to replace the sleepers under the concrete path. So 10m south of the road crossing has been concreted to allow this foot crossing to be reinstated properly. The opportunity was also taken to complete the 4ft at the north end of the points.


3rd June 2020

18th July 2020