Turnouts at Tarrawarra

Track construction for Destination Yarra Glen has begun!

Over the last week the Yarra Valley Railway’s Way & Works team has been building the first of many turnouts (points) at Tarrawarra Railway Station. It started off with a bang on the weekend of the 7th & 8th of December with a ‘construction blitz’ to get the process up and running.

It’s an exciting moment, as we’ve spent many years building up to this point – the start of track construction for our Destination Yarra Glen project. We’ve had to plan out and prepare Tarrawarra Yard, acquire the secondhand sets of heavy rail turnouts and their fittings and purchase the new timbers to lay the turnouts on. It may not sound like all that much to do but it’s one of those jobs that gets more complicated the more you look into it – trust us!

Turnout construction is specialised work, so we enlisted the help of John Shaw from the Victorian Goldfields Railway to teach our volunteers the whole process so that we can build the rest of the turnouts for the project.

Careful readers might notice that the turnout looks like it runs into the fence. This is because it will need to be lifted into place – the area to the left of it (which will be the mainline running through Tarrawarra Station and onwards to Yarra Glen) will be the final resting place but we need to do some additional preparatory earthworks first. For those interested in the engineering details, it’s a 107lb/yd (53kg/m), left-hand, 1 in 8.7, M6.9 turnout. It’ll form the Yarra Glen (‘Up’ in railway lingo) end of the passing loop for Tarrawarra Railway Station.

We’ve got quite a number to build over Summer. For now though, we’ve got our first turnout! 

We could use a hand helping build the rest of the turnouts – the first sections of track to be laid for Destination Yarra Glen! All training and equipment is provided. Visit yvr.org.au/volunteering for more information.

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