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In a stark contrast to yesterday when I spent the day inside in the air conditioning, I decided to go down to the Zig Zag Railway today and sweat a bit. Or a lot. More like a lot.

We decided to replace a couple more sleepers along middle road that have become damaged. This contraption is a sleeper puller that makes this job much easier. All you need to do is pull some levers and it will pull out the old sleeper. Then line up the new one and push it home with the power of hydraulics.

The way this machine has been built is quite simple. A petrol fueled hydraulic power pack that is just connected on the the valving. This meant that during construction an off the shelf part could be used. Eliminating the complicated and fiddly design and set up of petrol motor, hydraulic pump & reservoirs and cooling for each.

Unfortunately there seems to be a problem with the fuel pump. Once we had pretty much finished the first sleeper we started having fuel starvation issues. With the motor stumbling then picking itself back up again. Eventually it died and we finished off that sleeper by hand. We were able to get it started again by getting the fuel filter filled. However that only lased a few minutes before we had to fill it again. Eventually we did get both sleepers changed and are now in place ready for baseplates & spikes.

Heading back down for lunch. He seems to be pretty keen for it!


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