Victorian Goldfields Railway
Victorian Goldfields Railway

2003

4th & 5th
January
2003
Track relaying - reaches down side of Rifle Range Bridge.
 

17th & 18th
January
2003
Track relaying reaches up side of Rifle Range Bridge.
 

30th
January
2003
Maldon Yard - drain between 1 and 2 roads and associated sump-pit and pump located at up end of platform installed.
 

16th & 17th
February
2003
Track relaying - from Maldon Junction in down direction - reaches up side of Midland Highway by end of 17th.
 

8th & 9th
March
2003
Track relaying - across Winters Flat Bridge.
 

14th
March
2003
Ballast Train - consisting of F212, ballast wagons and Ballast Plough distributes ballast from up side of Farmer's PCR working towards section covered in July.
 

23rd
March
2003
2nd Rails-to-Castlemaine Scheme completes its 26 week term.
 

29th & 30th
March
2003
Track relaying - from Maldon Junction reaches up side of Pyrenees Highway Bridge.
 

5th & 6th
April
2003
Ballast Train - consisting of F212, ballast wagons and Ballast Plough distributes ballast in staged sections between Farmer's PCR and 82 mile post, in each section dropping in down direction. By end of weekend ballast reaches end of straight on rise to top of grade near 82 mile post.
 

7th
April
2003
Pyrenees Highway Bridge - Repaired and painted spans reinstalled in the bridge.
 

Easter
18th to 21st
April
2003
Ballast Train - after screw dog tightening and track lining on the Friday, Ballast train operated Sat, Sun & Mon. By end of Monday, ballast distributed to Prison Farm Bridge, and to Boundary Track.
 

1st
May
2003
Last Sleeper Pre-drilled for the Muckleford - Maldon Junction reconstruction. Total of approximately 11,000 sleepers drilled, mostly by Rails-to-Castlemaine teams.
 

3rd
May
2003
Ballast Train - 3 train loads of ballast distributed from down side of Rifle Range Bridge toward Boundary Track. T class used to propel train (F212, 5 ballast wagons and Plough) from Muckleford over section previously ballasted. The first ballast train of the day conveyed well wagons loaded with sleepers to rail head.
 

3rd & 4th
May
2003
Track Relaying - work recommences in 'up' direction from rail head 150 metres Castlemaine side of Rifle Range Bridge.
 

11th
May
2003
Track relaying - from Muckleford end, reaches former Martin Street Level Crossing site. Approx. 300 metres remains between this track and that relaid to 'up' side of Pyrenees Highway Bridge.
 

16th
May
2003
3rd Rails-to-Castlemaine Scheme completes its 26 week term.
 

May
2003
Maldon Turntable - Work commences on refurbishment of table, existing track removed, table metal work cleaned and painted, new timbers to be fitted and track relaid & locking mechanism made effective in anticipation of increased use with operation of trains into Castlemaine.
 

3rd
June
2003
The Decking, etc., on the Pyrenees Highway Bridge completed.
 

9th
June
2003
At the end of work on the Sunday of the Queens Birthday Weekend, only 40 metres of track remains to be laid. A permit for removal of trees in the immediate vicinity of the former Brown Street Crossing has been issued and the roadbed preparations for track laying should be completed by the week ending 13th June. (The permit for the full section remains in the objection resolution phase.)
 

14th
June
2003
'Join-Up Day' - The last lengths of track required near the site of the former Brown Street Crossing were laid, joining the two sections of relaid track. Following driving of the 'silver' dog-spike by Shire of Mount Alexander Mayor, Jim Norris, and associated speeches, J549 headed the ballast train (with T333 trailing) to the limit of available track at the down side of Midland Highway Crossing. T333 was used for a ballast drop toward Winter's Flat Bridge, before the complete train returned to the track join-up site for informal celebration by Project Workers.
 

28th & 29th
June
2003
Midland Highway Crossing - Removal of a section of the road bitumen indicated the track under the roadway seal to be in excellent condition. All sleepers outside the road seal area were replaced. Preliminary ballast, lifting and packing of the crossing approaches have prepared the crossing for passage of the ballast train.
 

July
2003
Initial ballasting completed between Walmer Road and Maldon Junction with the exception of Pyrenees Hwy and Winter's Flat Bridges. On Thursday 3rd July, the ballast train worked in the short section between Midland Highway and Maldon Junction. Ballast on the two bridges and some topping-up in a few locations still required.
 

21st to 25th
July
2003
Tamping & Ballast - A Tamping Machine and a Ballast Regulator arrived at Muckleford by road on Monday 21st July and progressively worked through the section to just short of Maldon Junction. By end of work on Friday 25th July, lifting, lining and packing of the track in the section had been completed by our contractor, John Holland. Tamping over the bridges with waterproof membrane was not done by the contractor, this to be undertaken by VGR crews.
 

2nd
August
2003
Members AGM Passenger train to Midland Highway - The train, consisting of T333, three passenger cars, two vans and trailing J549 travelled to the (temporary) limit of available track at Midland Highway Crossing. The 'T' was there uncoupled, the 'J' taking the train through to Maldon. This was the first passenger train over the project section since closure of the line in December, 1976. See Photographs
 

August
2003
Muckleford Dock Road - Work has been progressing with completion of the Dock Road. Installation of the timber coping around the dock road platform faces on the 9th August, 2003 was followed on 17th August with earthwork for the buffer stop at the end of the track. The end two rails having been removed to gain access. Once the stop is in place the road to be lifted and packed to correct height.
 

August
2003
Midland Hwy Crossing Lights The PB Crew completed the rail bonding during the week ending 22/8. Insulated plate sets have been installed in track
 

August
2003
Tamping of Track on Bridges - Tamping of the bridges with waterproof membranes completed. Prison Farm, Rifle Range and Pyrenees Highway on 16th and Winter's Flat on 23rd. Ballast drop on bridges following tamping conducted on Sat 30th.
 

4th
September
2003
Muckleford-Walmer Road Crossing - opened and inspected. Track found to be in good condition under the bitumen seal. Some additional sleepers replaced on immediate edge of bitumen. Signal wire pipe was found in place at crossing, this was extended to clear road sides.
Muckleford 'Down Home' Signal - Mast for this signal was installed in association with the work day at Walmer Road Crossing.
 

September
2003
Midland Hwy Crossing Lights Cement support blocks for the crossing light masts installed on 13th Sept. Masts, Power Meter Box and Control Cabinet installed on 20th Sept. Major portion of cabling has been installed.
 

26th
September
2003
Level Crossing lights - Midland Highway, Castlemaine- concerted effort over many weeks installing level crossing lights brought to satisfactory stage with first operation and adjustment of the flashing lights and bell.
 

3rd
October
2003
Castlemaine Yard - former locomotive shed- inspection pits cleaned out and trackbed graded for extension of the turntable road over one of the pits.
 

October
2003
Castlemaine Yard- Following sleeper replacements on 4th and 11th, 300 feet of No 3 siding available for use as the platform road headshunt.
 

25th
October
2003
Level Crossing - Midland Highway, Castlemaine- crossing signs and hardware installed at crossing.
 

11th
December
2003
4th Rails-to-Castlemaine Scheme (WFD) completes its 26 week term. With the Muckleford-Castlemaine work well advanced this team put in a considerable time on the running section.