During the past week the first phase of track extension project was finaly completed. The work started eleven years ago in October 2007, when the Humppila Road level crossing was rebuilt. The now completed first phase is a little bit more than 400 m long.
Before the work started the track still had old worn out 22 kg/m rails of Jokioinen Railway and all sleepers were badly rotten. Year by year there was less and less traffic on the track and the last time a motor trolley travelled the track was around year 2000.
Last week bushes were cleared next to the Humppila Road level crossing and the last 60 m of track was laid. The railhead is now about 20 m from the fence of the Syrup Mill. The track has to be still ballasted and tampped before it is fully completed.
When the second phase starts the track will be laid on the old roadbed by the Syrup Mill to the river Loimijoki, where a passing loop and a platform will be built for a new end station of Jokioinen Museum Railway. The work on the second phase will start when funding for it has been secured.
During this spring rebuilding of the first phase of Jokiranta project has been going on rapidly. The track is already reaching the old syrup mill.
Total of 80 m of fully rebuilt track has been laid since April and the curve of the syrup mill is almost ready. Only three rail lengths (60 m) of track is missing until the goal is reached. After this there is still some ballasting work to be done. Also old rails should be taken away.
The old rails of the Syrup Spur will be used at the rebuild of the Sand Spur between Minkiö and Humppila. The best rails will be saved to be used as spares at Minkiö and Jokioinen stations and on the main line between Minkiö and Jänhijoki railway bridge.
The main track work is over for this year. How ever there are still work trains running so one should play attention while crossing tracks!
The reparation of Syrup spur reached a point more than 200 m from the Jokioinen-Humppila road. There is still about 150 m to go before reaching the factory fence. Track laying continues when spring will arrive, but some preparative work and picking up of old rails will be done during winter months.
In the beginning of November when weather was starting to be rainy the track reached the beginning of the Syrup Factory Curve. The aim is to continue the track about 50 more meters before the winter, if the weather permits the work. After this the track would already parallel the fence of the Syrup factory.
If the weather of this autumn and winter stays mild, it is a purpose to collect the old rails of the track currently lying on the side of the track bed. The old 22 kg/m rails will be stored for later use on the railway yards and sidings. Also the rails at the new end station next to the river Loimijoki will be laid with the 22 kg/m rails which are a better fit in historic environment.
In the beginning of October track laying started on the Jokiranta extension. Earlier this and last year the old track was dismantled and the trackbed was cleared all the way until the Syrup Factory.
At the moment about 100 meters of newly built track is already ready and there is another 250 m to be built this autumn until the fence of the Syrup Factory will be reached.
The building goes on by constructing one rail length (20 m) at the time. First new sleepers will be placed on sand ballast. After this rails are moved on their place with the help of the work train. The the rails are attached to the existing track and nailed on their place. There are 29 sleepers for one rail length of a track.
After laying rails the track is ballasted on the outer side of railway sleepers. Later on, after the winter the track will be finally aligned and ballasted.
Because of the on going track work there are work trains running almost daily on Minkiö-Jokioinen line and also sometimes on Minkiö-Humppila line. Everyone crossing the railway should pay a lot of attention and stop and check for the trains!
During September two trainloads of new rails have been transported from the Humppila rail storage. Also railway sleepers has been cut to correct length at Humppila. There is need for about 400 sleepers for this years track rebuild project.
The Museum Railway Association has received a 5000 euro grant to make the rail laying project starting in October. If the weather stays warm the aim is to have the track in operation condition all the way to the Sugar Factory by end of November this year. After this the aim is to collect the old Jokioinen railway era rails and transport them to Humppila rail storage to be used as spare rails and rails for sidings.
Also this autumn the aim is to cut the brush next to the track.
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