D Day has arrived for the Old depot points, A one week shut down was commenced on the 2nd of Feb on the RNP line and depot access track. The old life expired depot points was lifted, area cleared and excavated and the new points installed and concreted into place. See below for a construction diary of events.
John Hollands generously donated some further power and communications conduits , associated fittings for them and 10 pallets of concrete cast cable troughing with the fitting lids to the Museum, These have been stored at our Northern site compound in Sutherland.
Work commenced on pulling apart the old depot points, the depot track was disconnected and lifted out, and the rest of the points started to have its old rusted seized bolts blown with the oxy, earth bonds removed etc, fittings that could unbolted where done so and salvaged for reuse or to be used as spares for other points on the Loftus site.
Work continued on lifting the remaining old depot point work and track leads to them, all old sleepers where lifted and where stockpiled ready to be cut and up and disposed off.
A contractor arrived on site with his Bobcat and excavator to commence excavation of the depot points area so the new points can be set in place for concreting. The STMs tipper rose to the challenge once again shifting the 20 cubic meters of soil that was excavated.
The new depot points pre fabricated nearby on site in 3 pieces was lifted into rough position by the museums 2 forklifts with their crane jib attachments, ready for aligning and welding the next day.
The 3 prefabricated depot point pieces where pulled into location and final alignment with winches and chains, once leveled out to ensure no twists was welded in, all the joints where welded , using low hydrogen steel rods for all the steel rail and fittings and stainless steel rods for the cast points to the steel rail. All joints were profiled and ground as required. Final packing and leveling took place to ensure a constant grade through the new points
Form work was applied around the track drain and around the points mechanism in preparation for concreting , Drainage pipes where also installed from the point blade hinge boxes to ensure no water build up in the hinge mechanism.
Thirteen cubic meters of purchased concrete was poured in to the 4 foot of the depot points along 16 meters of track. This the largest continuous pour we have had on site for any track work in one day. The concrete was steel trowel finished to rail height and all groves where also filled and finished with out special grove trowel.
Ongoing work is required to complete the track for service, the missing track sections will be inserted back so as to recommence traffic operations for the following weekend.
Rail Infrastructure Manager
Depot access track is first to be disconnected and lifted out. Image taken facing South
Check rail bolts get blown off as they have seized up. Image taken facing South
Old depot points is jacked out of the ground so the point timbers can be knocked off. Image taken facing west.
Depot points slowly being pulled apart. Image taken facing North
Only the blade units remaining to be removed. Image taken facing South
Last bolts on the point chairs are being blown on the blasé units. Image taken facing West
Life expired timber Sleepers are removed, Image taken facing North.
Area is excavated by an external contractor. Image taken facing North.
First piece of the 3 track panel pieces making up the new depot points is lifted into place. Image taken facing South.
The second piece of the new points, the blade unit is being lifted in to place. Image taken facing East.
The 3 pieces of the new depot points have been placed in the excavated area. Image taken facing North.
New points have been pulled in to place and aligned ready for welding. Image taken facing North.
The 3 depot point pieces have been welded together. Image taken facing South.
Stainless steel welds where applied between the cast point blades and the steel rail.
Completed points, welded, leveled ready for formwork and concrete. Image taken facing North
New depot points welded , leveled and aligned ready for concrete. Image taken facing South.
Formwork being applied to the point mechanism area.
Drainage pipes being installed to drain the point hinge mechanism.
Concrete being poured in to new depot points. Four wheel barrows was used to move the concrete to where it was needed. Image taken facing north.
Concrete being dropped into position and vibrated in to place. Image taken facing South
Concrete being leveled off and groves filled as its laid up the the 4 foot. Image taken facing North
Completed concreting, Image taken facing South
Finished crossing area. Image taken facing North
Finished Point blade and track drain area. Image taken facing South.
Donanted Conduits and fittings from John Holland stored in the northern site.
Concrete castings and lids donated by John Hollands stored in the Northern compound.