Hi everyone - I've posted this query on a couple of subreddits and was forwarded onto this site as a possible place to find an answer.
I'm currently in my hometown of Ouyen, Vic for a few weeks where the railway line in the area is currently being upgraded in the Murray Basin Rail Project.
I believe the works around Ouyen have involved replacing severely worn wooden railway sleepers in 2016 and conversion of the railway gauge from broad to standard - while doing this they have replaced the old gap laid track with a continuous rail line.
My main concern is with the climate in this area and the quality of the continuous welded track. In Summer the temperature during the day consistently hits above 40°C and has peaked at 47°C about a week ago. As it is a desert climate the weather can also drop to -2°C during the winter nights. I know continuous rail can be subject to large stresses caused by rail expansion in extreme heat as a result requires strong fixings to keep the rail from deforming.
On Jan 28 it was 45°C and I was alerted via facebook to a section of the new upgraded track that had buckled in the heat near Speed, Vic [PIC]
. After seeing this I decided to go have a look at the completed railway section near Kiamal, Vic and it has me questioning the quality/safety of the upgrade. While some of the sleepers near the level crossing have been upgraded to concrete sleepers, the majority of the upgrade has kept the wooden sleepers - many of which are severely weathered and damaged. Some pins are not even screwed in completely, some are completely missing (even on the new concrete sleepers) and others completely loose due to damaged wood.Imgur album of upgraded/converted track
Additional Short Video Showing Loose/Missing Pins
To my untrained eye it looks pretty bad but just wondering if this can be looked at by someone more knowledgeable about railways that can tell me if it's a bad as it looks or if I'm worrying over nothing? I'm just concerned the buckling that happened a few days may soon become common along the upgraded track in the area as extreme temperatures become more frequent and potentially cause a derailment.