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Greater Triangle Commuter Rail

Owner / Client
North Carolina Railroad Co. / STV


Design Surveying

Key Personnel
Trey Harter, PLS
Matthew Roberts, PLS

Project scope entails a topographic design survey of a 3 1⁄2-miles-long section of railroad right-of-way through downtown Durham, North Carolina. The objective for this project is to determine the feasibility
of adding a parallel rail line through this corridor. CES was tasked with establishing control, completing as-built survey of existing rail every 50 feet, detailed survey of all bridges along the corridor, topographic survey within the 200’ wide railroad right-of-way, and merging collected data with existing data from a North Carolina Department of Transportation project. CES established control by setting control points every 1/2 mile using Trimble GNSS receivers and real-time kinematics (RTK). CES then turned mean angles through all of the GPS pairs using Trimble Robotic instruments. Using Trimble Business Center software, the GPS and traditional traverse data was adjusted using a least squares methodology. The challenge for this project was coordinating track time with flaggers from Norfolk-Southern Railroad and the level of detail required on the topographic survey through this urban area.