February 2001

February saw the first clearing of scrub to enable final surveys to be completed, and marking out for the "smooth" clearing of the formation and excavating the underpass.

March 2001

During March and April, extensive works have been done at Stirling North, and the cuttings on both sides of the standard gauge line have been prepared.

To complete the underpass, the coal line must be cut and removed from the immediate area, and a concrete box colvert installed, before the coal line is re-instated. A 48 hour "window of opportunity" is available on April 25 and 26 where there will be no coal trains, so work on the approaches has proceeded well to allow that to be done.

The first pass of excavation works. The coal line is in the foreground. The chimney of the Northern Power Station rises above the range, while smoke rises from the Playford station just to the left of the large excavator.

April 2001

Putting the finishing touches to the side of the Port Augusta side cutting

The underpass is not the only part of the project that has been started. In fact, a considerable amount of track has been laid. This includes track on the Port Augusta side of the causeway across Spencer Gulf, and between the causeway and the underpass.

Naturally, before the track can be laid, the ground must be prepared. Once the topsoil has been levelled, the track can be laid in roughly its final location. Ballast will then be dropped from our ballast hoppers, after the track has been connected to our existing track at the apex of the narrow gauge triangle. The final step of the process is to use our tamper to pack the ballast under the sleepers, and provide a level and straight track.

Grading the track bed, between the Harris Street crossing and the causeway
A National Rail train crosses Harris Street. PRRPS's narrow gauge track is at right, and continues past the crossing towards the causeway and Port Augusta