About the Boulder Creek Tramway

Track construction:
Track on the Boulder Creek Tramway is being constructed using 32mm x 10mm steel flat bar welded to 20mm x 5mm ties which are then screwed to treated pine sleepers at 250mm centres.

The track sections are built on the work bench in 6 metre lengths having one rail welded to the ties and screwed to the sleepers before being positioned in place. Once the correct alignment has been formed the second rail is welded to the ties using track gauges to hold the second rail in gauge permanently securing the track in position. Ballast is then laid between the sleepers to complete the job.

Click here for a time lapse video of the track panels being built and laid.

At this stage, approximately 950 metres of track has been laid including 19 sets of points. Minimum track radius is set at 14 metres and the maximum gradient is 1 in 30.

Boulder Creek and the bridge:
The name "Boulder Creek Tramway" suggests that it is located in the vicinity of "Boulder Creek". Unfortunately there is no such creek in the area so a dry creek bed has been formed using various boulders and rocks from around the property. This is where the idea for the name "Boulder Creek" originated. Native plants and ferns have been planted in and around the creek bed to make it look like a real creek bed, albeit a dry one.

The bridge crossing Boulder Creek has been built on site using RHS for construction. Total length of the bridge is 7.2 metres and at the highest point is around 11.75 metres above the creek bed.

The Tunnel:
A tunnel is a great feature to have on any railway, but the additional engineering problems, extra work, and the expense, we could have done without. The track would have followed an alternative route had there been one that didn't require the construction of a tunnel, however there was no other choice due to the already steep grades.

The tunnel structure had to be strong enough to support vehicles due to there being a driveway over the top of it. Several options were researched for construction of the tunnel including steel pipe, concrete pipe, recycled plastic pipe, recycled bricks, timber, and even rolled corrugated iron but to form the 22 metre long tunnel, the steel pipe was the cheapest option that was considered strong enough for the job.

To add to the engineering problems, the tunnel had to be curved along its 22 metre length, and this was achieved by cutting the steel pipe into a huge lobster back bend by cutting a tapered section out its circumference at 2.25 metre intervals. Once this was done the gaps were winched closed and welded together forming the bend.

Each 11 metre long section was lowered into the cutting and welded together before being sprayed with a bitumen coating to help prevent rust.

Trestle Bridge:
A curved trestle bridge was required to bridge the gully in the lower section of the railway and this was constructed using fabricated steel trestles with timber beams spanning the gaps. A series of construction pictures of the trestle bridge construction can be seen in page*nbsp;3 of the Track & Right-of-Way gallery.

As a small unofficial club, "Boulder Creek Tramway" relies on donations and contributions to assist in the ongoing development of the railway. In appreciation of all contributions, a list of people and businesses that have provided assistance is located on our home page.

If you would like to be informed of updates and scheduled events then please let us know via the contact page and you can be added to our mailing list.

Updated: 23 Oct 2015
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Text and photos Copyright © 2008-2020 Dave Webb, All rights reserved.  

Created by deeja Mar 2009