- November 2012 – Asphalt Laying
- January 2013 – Point Cover Replacement
- May 2014 – Reconstruction of the Eastern track at Pitt St gates
- August 2014 – Concreting the new Eastern track at Pitt St gates
- 27th August 2014 – Relocating the Starters Cabin
November 21st – Asphalt Laying
Not everything the track work team does is track. On Wednesday the 21st of November, much of the group were laying cold-mix asphalt in Tramway Ave instead. A 1-tonne bag of ‘Cold Mix’ was purchased and hauled down to Loftus by a member using his box trailer. A number of ‘small’ jobs were tackled. 1 tonne of asphalt didn’t last long…
The first place for a ‘tidy’ was at the front gate, filling in the ‘gap’ between the concrete track and the brick curb.
The ‘six foot’ here will have to wait for the eastern track to be lifted and also mass concreted. This area is subject to intense road traffic that broke up the former asphalt surface at this location – mostly by trucks turning into the museum site, so this entire area will be a tough concrete surface eventually.
Railway Square also got some attention as well.
The large expanse of concrete in this area is eventually to be covered in asphalt as well, to make the area look like a ‘typical’ period Sydney tramway street. However, this is too large a job to be tackled by the regular volunteers with the equipment available. This area may have to wait until funds are available to pay professionals with the proper equipment.
The lush green grass you can see just behind the work is thanks to the efforts of a green-thumbed member. He spends many hours lovingly tending to the lawns around the museum and making the site look like someone ‘owns’ it.
January 19th – Point Cover Replacement
Regular visitors will have noticed that the point covers at the Scissors Crossover were starting to look like they needed a bit of TLC. Late in 2012, some planks of recycled hardwood were obtained. Over the summer months, the timber maestros in the workshop turned those planks into new pit covers.
Here are a couple of shots – the new covers have threaded holes into which two lifting eyes can be screwed. The forklift crane can then be used to easily move and place these rather heavy covers. While the covers were off the opportunity was taken to clean the point-pits out.
2014 – Eastern Track Reconstruction at Pitt Street Gate
A long-delayed ‘clean up’ at the front gate has started. The eastern track has been lifted from the edge of the Pitt Street crossing past the gate and about 30 metres up the hill. The drain along the gate will be fully reconstructed and the track concreted inline with the western track that was concreted several years back. This will greatly improve the appearance of the entrance of the museum.
David Canini was engaged to excavate the trackbed to allow the relaying to proceed. David was digging up soil that he and his father Alex had placed near 30 years ago. The relationship between Canini Plant Hire and the museum goes back many years and two generations.
The spoil removed from the track was used to fill in between the rails further up the hill on Tramway Ave were erosion over the years and lowered the soil around the rails out just downhill from the scissors and also alongside the mass concrete track near the Pitt St Crossover to remove the ‘drop’ off the side of the slab.
The lifted rails have been cleaned and are now being welded back into position using the Pitt St level crossing slab as the reference point.
Today the track drain next to the gate was welded into position. Some concrete was also poured between the gate and the drain to lock down that section of track.
Work continues to be concentrated next to the front gate. Sections of ‘bolt-on’ check rail have been installed between Pitt Street and the track drain next to the gate. The welding of steel sleepers/tie bars has continued up the hill from the gate.
Over the last 2 weeks, more small loads of concrete have been used to stabilize the track. On the western track at this point, grooved tramway rail was used. We don’t have any more of that rail left. The Sydney tramways also used ‘bolted check rail’ which when concreted looked like grooved tramway rail. The museum has used most of its supplies of bolt-on as well. So for this section, the foot was cut off some lengths of light worn rail, which when welded into position looks just like the bolt-on check rail from above once it’s surrounded by concrete.
August 2014 – Pitt Street Eastern Track Mass Concreting
Now steel plate is being welded into position to ‘simulate’ grooved rail, and a number of small loads of concrete have enable a good length of ‘4ft’ to be completed.
A special extra workday. David Canini was back to excavate the ‘6ft’ between the tracks.
The ‘6ft’ David Canini excavated yesterday was concreted. As this was also a traffic day, the track crew worked in between regular services on the Sutherland line, with P1497 captured passing some very wet concrete. This now finishes off front gate area. However more work needs to be done further uphill to return the eastern track to use, but this concrete around the gate was the major target of this exercise.
Over the years the original asphalt surface in this area suffered from the ravages of the many trucks that have come in and out of the gate over the years, in particular Australian Train Movers large train/tram carrying trailer. This concrete surface should cope with the ravages of large trailers maneuvering into the site.
The target date for this work was to have the area tidied up for the COTMA visit on the 11th of October. A combination of luck and some hard work has seen this largely completed. Only a small amount of work now is needed to complete this section and return it to traffic.
The in morning before Trams under the Stars, some more concrete was offered, and more of the 4ft concreted. Some minor welding was also undertaken before people arrived for the late afternoon tram runs. This track is now reconnected and only needs about 2 metres more track to be fully supported, and the track will be again able to take trams. The sleeper pile that had been acting like a buffer-stop protecting the work site was tidied away.
The 4ft is nearly complete, with the eastern cess now formed up waiting on concrete. Most of the ‘6ft’ will be refilled with earth and grass planted to pretty the place up for the upcoming COTMA conference.
27th August – Moving the Starters Cabin
One of the issues discussed at the recent traffic staff meeting was finding a better place for the OIC to keep things like the radio mic and the starters journal during the day. The starters cabin was intended for this sort of thing, but it’s location just north of the signal box was too far from the ‘centre of the action’ around the bookshop and kiosk to be useful. The meeting agreed to ask if it could be moved. On Wednesday the 27th, the Wednesday work crew picked up the cabin using the No3 forklift and relocated it next to the kiosk where it can more usefully serve its role. It also moves this artifact off the roadway, where over the years it’s been nudged by various people attempting to park their cars alongside.
The relayed eastern track has been cleared for operation and re-opened for traffic. A small extra bit of finishing concrete was added. This event provided an excuse to get scrubber 141s out to give the rails a bit of a clean.
A 1-tonne bag of cold-mix asphalt was purchased and used to ‘finish off’ the front gate area. Shortly after these photos were taken the ‘6 foot’ between the tracks was back-filled and grass planted. The front gate area is now complete.
Railway Square also received extra attention with the ‘leftover’ material.