As months go by and seasons change, so does our passion for our line. The team is getting new members, acquires know – how and implies it on its effort, setting new goals and dreaming big. We have had some major progress as well as a few problems but we did not give up as our dedication for what we do and our team effort never cease. So, let us take a look at what took place over the last month and a half.
The biggest development was, of course, the arrival of the newest member of our fleet, draisine MB. It runs on the metric gauge (1000 mm), made by the worldwide famousBritish manufacturer Wickham, a very experienced draisine manufacturer. Our own MB was manufactured somewhere in the 1960’s and is of the ‘’type 27’’ make. It is powered by a gas motor that transfers its power to the rear axle of the vehicle only. The draisine is already on the tracks and has successfully performed its trials, travelling from Velestino to Aerino and back.
Moving on to track maintenance matters, there were certain tasks that had to be carried out, as always. Tasks were even more demanding, as they always are in Greece’s intense summer heat. The team performed an extensive spraying treatment across the line along with cutting down small trees and bushes that thrive alongside and on the tracks during spring. Spraying treatment for parasitic plants was performed on foot, along with the aid of our Perkins draisine carrying the equipment needed, starting at milepost 6+400 km and finishing at milepost 3+000 km, on ‘’Axiomatiki’’ railway crossing. Thanks to this treatment our tracks will be clear of parasitic plants for at least two years. This enables us to easily and safely inspect the track and operate on it, especially at locations where access is limited by car or on foot.
Since our activities take place on a heritage route, essentially abandoned and exposed to nature and its elements, we often come across unexpected problems. This time, we called such a problem we came across ‘’the fox’s hole’’. While inspecting the track we came across a spot where ballast was almost completely missing, with the track hanging in the air for 40-50 cm. This was a definite no to heavy vehicles, such as our Nippon Sharyo locomotive, passing over it. The culprit was indeed a fox that had dug its hole, moving the ballast away from the track. Ballast was added and spread evenly by the team and the problem was rectified.
Meanwhile, another major issue was rectified. We dealt with a broken rail on one of the depot’s points (commonly known as rail switches). The location of this problem made shunting in and out of the depot extremely risky. Led by the wise guidance of a professional rail worker our team replaced the broken rail and performed several test runs on the new rail, making sure the replacement was successful and shunting was safe. So it was, another successful task was completed.
Our rolling stock needed some routine care as well. Our beloved ‘’Japanese lady’’, the diesel – hydraulic Nippon Sharyo locomotive n.3 had its petrol and engine oil filters replaced, a vital task for its continuing good performance.
Last but not least, railway tie replacement or addition, where ties were missing was completed across the entire length of the line to Aerino. This is a major safety – related task, as the ties are vital for pinning the iron tracks down to the sleepers, essentially making the line strong enough to support the full weight of a rail vehicle running on it, especially on curves.
As one can see, positive thinking, team effort and dedication for what we do are growing on us as the journey on our line continues and new goals are set, always supported by your love and effort. All aboard…..