Puffing Billy: Bridge on the Brink
RTBU Members at Puffing Billy Railway have expressed concerns about the condition of the historic trestle bridge spanning Monbulk Creek in Selby.
The bridge, constructed in 1899, now stands at 124 years of age.
Renowned for its timber craftsmanship, this 15-span structure has received recognition from the National Trust of Victoria.
It plays a pivotal role in carrying the railway across Monbulk Creek and Gembrook Road, measuring an impressive 91.4 meters in length and 12.8 meters high.
In February 2023, the Stirling Group conducted a comprehensive inspection of the bridge, identifying multiple defects that have yet to be addressed.
These defects include issues from termite damage, missing bolts, splitting piles, deteriorating girders, wood decay, to bent bracing, among others.
The inspection report documented approximately 47 distinct concerns, with most requiring rectification by November 2023.
The RTBU remains committed to closely monitoring the progress of repair work on the trestle bridge over the forthcoming months, and we will provide members regular updates regarding its status.
Metro’s Safety Cuts: On Track For Trouble
An ongoing matter of concern within Metro Projects is management’s persistent pursuit of strategies to reduce the number of safeworkers present on construction sites raising major concerns for all members working across the Metro network.
Metro’s safety team is blindly convinced that a chain-link fence is an adequate safety guard to prevent large machinery from entering the danger zone.
The RTBU is concerned that without a dedicated safeworker in place, there would be insufficient time to alert oncoming trains to any potential hazards or dangers.
In the upcoming weeks, I will be visiting numerous sites to question Metro’s safety managers about these safety measures.
I will also be meeting with Metro along with representatives from other industry players to demand they address our shared concerns regarding what appears to be a blatant cost-cutting endeavour that jeopardizes the safety and lives of RTBU Members.
If you have any questions or wish to arrange a prestart or site visit, contact me at 0403 863 869.
Your safety and well-being are of paramount importance.