Surveying the Land

This article describes how technological advances in surveying were used to help engineers map difficult-to-access areas of tracks and the trackside more easily for the Londonderry Railway Line Upgrade Project. The project saw 1,250 tonnes of new rail laid, as well as 5,000 meters of new drains for the 5-mile line. Track lines and levels had to be adjusted to ensure a smoother ride for passengers. Using total stations – surveying instruments which measure coordinates, then compute data to create a map – the orginal survey was validated and new marker pegs were put in to indicate the alignment for the track. In the end, the marker pegs had to be re-done three times, using laser levels, to ensure engineers were working to the most accurate coordinates at every stage of the track laying. The line had not been maintained for 20 years, and much of the track was in tight cuttings. Using a three-dimensional, coordinated design, then keeping control of it in the tight area was difficult. On completion of the work, after various test runs, the line was reopened after a three-month closure--on schedule and on budget.


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  • Accession Number: 01142402
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 25 2009 9:10PM