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Is this common?

1,000+ posts Member

Note the SIP (set iron pipe) within the railroad tracks as a control corner. At the other end is a CP (calculated point).

I've always thought that railroads in NC were off limits even to the survey gods, so I was taken aback by this drawing.



This topic was modified 2 days ago by MathTeacher
Topic starter Posted : August 6, 2022 7:13 am
paden cash
10,000+ posts Supporter

That point appears to be on some sort of boundary.  I could see a reason to set a monument if it were part of a boundary.  I try to avoid setting any control in restricted areas.

But definitely not a good location choice for any longevity.  Ties and ballast can be considered "temporary" on heavily used lines.  I once ran a seven mile bench loop down a RR corridor (watching closely for the track police) that was bordered on both sides of the RW by mature forest.  The overhanging limbs made it nearly impossible to set TPs on the RW fence.  I opted to place nails in the ties to use as TBMs and flagging their location along the fence...

It wasn't a year later the AT&SF crews came in and replaced all the ties.  There went my bench loop... 

Posted : August 6, 2022 9:08 am
Gordon Svedberg
500+ posts Member

Early in my career I was about to set a RR spike in the centerline of the railroad,  when along came the railroad employee in his special truck, and told me that was a no-no because the railroad used spikes to mark curve points, but allowed that I could set a nail in the tie.

Posted : August 6, 2022 9:25 am
Brad Ott liked

5,000+ posts Supporter


Posted by: @mathteacher

I've always thought that railroads in NC were off limits even to the survey gods,

They sure are in Central Forida, and here are the hoops you have to jump through....

Posted : August 6, 2022 9:46 am
5,000+ posts Member

Maybe those points were set by the RR itself?

Posted : August 6, 2022 11:03 am
Mark Mayer
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @mathteacher

I've always thought that railroads in NC were off limits even to the survey gods,

The railroad would always prefer that the surveyor spend 6 months trying to get somebody on the phone who will consider granting permission to enter the right of way after everyone who in the surveyors employ takes 8 hours of safety training and passes a test, 72 hours notice is given, and the railroads safety flaggers are posted for 6 hours in advance. But most of the time you just keep and eye and an ear out for trains go do whatever needs to be done.   If you are not working for the RR there isn't a whole lot they are going to do about it. 

That said, I would probably not set a rod in the RR ballast like that. It is going to be a huge PITA. Set an offset instead. 

This post was modified 1 day ago 2 times by Mark Mayer
Posted : August 6, 2022 2:00 pm

1,000+ posts Member

It looks like a centerline mon of the railroad row, same with the one at the north end.

I had heard the stories of the difficulties getting railroad access.  I tried calling one once to get permission to do some topo on a crossing.  I left the permission guy a message and never got a call back, so I just shot the points and moved on.  I ended up calling that exact same guy a couple years later when I was working for a different company, and never got a call back that time either.

Last fall I was working on a 40 mile geodetic level loop and one of the brass caps we leveled to was on a railroad bridge abutment.  We leveled to it and back without problem and then started the next mile on it and were just about to close out on it when a UP truck rolled up.  3 guys hopped out and one of them was really, really, really fired up.

I wasn't the party chief that day, fortunately, so I just kind of hung out and watched the show.  Even though they caught us red-handed I think nothing came of it because they were also (initially) unresponsive to access requests by the PM.

This post was modified 1 day ago 2 times by BStrand
Posted : August 6, 2022 3:19 pm
Brad Ott liked
holy cow
10,000+ posts Member

That is not common.  Multiple offset monuments would be recommended instead.

I might stay off of RR right of way if they would stop tossing crap onto my property.  Picked up a slightly curved, special-design, chunk of iron about 18" by 4" by 2" about an hour ago in one of my crop fields that border the RR.  I've gathered a scrap yard-worth's amount of various crap out of my fields that are next to the RR.  It is not funny when one of those goes through a perfectly good ag tire.  That happened again just last week on a front tractor tire.  Pulled out a 40-foot section of rail one time.  Probably a dozen or more short chunks (4' to 12').  Dig deep enough and you can find 130+ year-old railroad spikes that are little more than rusty clumps several inches long.  I swear 99.9 percent of all spikes ever used in that 130+ years are still present somewhere within twice the official ROW width.

Posted : August 6, 2022 6:01 pm