Progress Report No. 37 – Platform Waiting Room Construction Works Commence (Plus Updates)

Preliminary works to allow for the construction of the 1914 era NSWGR Unattended Platform Waiting Shed commenced on Thursday 9th November.

As has been covered previously in various Progress Reports, Junee Shire Council gave its Development Consent some months ago for the construction of this simple structure – a replica of what existed (at least until the 1960s) on the down platform at Loftus in Sydney.

The old saying goes that Rome wasn’t built in a day, although when one looks back at how Pete’s Hobby Railway has developed in a little over a year, Rome (and PHR!) might have taken only a little longer. One major problem has been in tying down our local Bob-Cat operator Dave, who, to say the least, does wonders with his machine! If he was out on a public street, he really would get booked for speeding – he knows his machine well – he is really fast, efficient and what’s more, a very safe operator! Because of his local expertise, he is in constant demand, and so tying him down is somewhat difficult.

During the 3½ hours that I had him on site, he was able to;

  • Relocate residue ballast around the site of the proposed waiting shed structure on Loftus platform to various locations around the western curve, in half-bucket loads to allow for future track ballasting and super-elevation works;
Image 2017.4952: Clearing surplus ballast from the site of the new waiting shed.

Image 2017.4952: Clearing surplus ballast from the site of the new waiting shed.

Image 2017.4950: Spreading the surplus ballast, ready for under-packing sleepers to super-elevate the curve.

Image 2017.4950: Spreading the surplus ballast, ready for under-packing sleepers to super-elevate the curve.

Image 2017.4966: Heaps of ballast, ready for the track gang to “lift, super-elevate and pack”.

Image 2017.4966: Heaps of ballast, ready for the track gang to “lift, super-elevate and pack”.

  • Clear and level the work-site at the rear of the platform, including a little more of the driveway garden – the remaining ballast and soil was dumped along the outside of the gradual curve leading from the front of the property towards the eastern boundary fence;
  • Remove a large shrub at the rear of the property (adjacent to the proposed trolley shed – an under-cover home for “Torpedo 2”) and transport it down to the site of the 2018 bonfire;
Image 2017.4990: A large shrub was easily removed by the bobcat, clearing the future right-of-way.

Image 2017.4990: A large shrub was easily removed by the bobcat, clearing the future right-of-way.

  • Level a small pile of roadbase which had been excavated during the construction of the top driveway level crossing to provide for a pathway extension around the western side of my dwelling over the track and connecting to the front driveway;
Image 2017.4971: The rail track in front of the Hunslet steam locomotive is just-about hidden by the spread road-base.

Image 2017.4971: The rail track in front of the Hunslet steam locomotive is just-about hidden by the spread road-base.

  • Excavate the base for the future waiting shed – this involved cutting into the existing platform to a depth of around 500mm and then filling in at the rear of the platform. Road-base was then brought from a pile at the rear of the property and spread evenly over this area.
Image 2017.4961: The first cut of the platform surface to prepare the waiting shed foundations.

Image 2017.4961: The first cut of the platform surface to prepare the waiting shed foundations.

Image 2017.4982: Josh supervises as the first load of the roadbase foundation is dropped into place.

Image 2017.4982: Josh supervises as the first load of the roadbase foundation is dropped into place.

And that’s only part of the works undertaken!

A square of weld-mesh has been laid in the cleared platform space which now has to be boxed preparatory for the concrete pour… before which, however, the first of a number of Council inspections has to be undertaken.

I’m now waiting for the next exciting episode… anticipating that the project will be completed in time for the next local Rhythm n Rail Festival in March next year.

Until the next Report…

Cheers,
Pete
Pete’s Hobby Railway

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