TAFE cutting cut over (moving operations to new western track)

Feburary 2012 trackwork bliz

Early in 2012, concreting the western track along side the TAFE cutting reached the end of the planned concrete track. As the Railway Square crossover project was at that stage ‘on hold’, there was no further place to use surplus concrete. Hence it was decided to ‘cut over’ the mainline to the western track and start work on the other half of the TAFE crossover.

Much preparation was done prior to February 2nd. Additional sleepers were laid between the existing sleepers and as much as possible new rails were installed and aligned in a gentle curve. Soon all that was left was the actual cut over. Thus is was planned to make a mid week attack on the track between running days.

The 3 day ‘campaign’ was started on Thursday the 2nd of February, in damp conditions, the work started with the disconnection of the eastern mainline. The ‘inner’ rails of the old curve were the first to be removed, and towed clear by 42s to allow the outer rail of the new curve to be aligned and spiked into position.

42s towing old rails clear
Members remove spikes while behind 42s is used to tow a used rail clear of the work area.

An old rail being guided over the new. 42s is on the other end of the chain

All hands on deck as an old rail is guided over the new. 42s is again providing the pulling power. By this time the rain had turned the work site into a mud-bath.
Photo’s by Martin Pinches.

Track work Blitz video – Days 1 and 2. 1 minute interval time lapse from the cab of ‘Bob’ 42s.

The weather steadily improved and by Saturday the sun was out again. Unfortunately after the 3 day blitz the line was not complete and the Sutherland line had to be closed completely for the next 3 weeks.

Open track
The ‘open’ track on Saturday afternoon.

Three weeks later on Saturday the 25th, the day before the festival more work was undertaken to get the line available for a VIP tour at mid-day and for the following Festival day, when trams again could run as far as TAFE crossing. During the previous week a modified crossing pan was installed where two trolley wires crossed which allowed non stop transition from the western wire to the eastern wire and the last bit of missing rail had been installed. This day was mostly ‘clean up’ to get the track fit for traffic. It was inspected that afternoon as cleared for operations again.

This video was shot at 30 second intervals.

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