Surveying & Mapping Software

Nottingham Streetcar Extension Relies on Leica Technology

July 24, 2014
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A pioneering, mechanized system for streetcar and light rail track construction, developed by Alstom Transport and Leica Geosystems, is driving the speedy, high accuracy delivery of two new streetcar lines for Nottingham Express Transit (NET).

Leica Nottingham Streetcar2

Construction work features Appitrack™ (Automatic Plate and Pin Insertion), an automated system designed to lay concrete slab track and insert base plates with speed, certainty and to millimeter accuracy. Leica Viva TS15 total stations and Leica PaveSmart3D software positions, guides and controls the concrete paver and base plate insertion vehicle as they progress in convoy.  

Laying a light rail system in close proximity to an urban community places particular constraints on productivity. To safeguard workers and minimize disruption to the public, time spent on site is often limited. The Appitrack™ system allows construction teams to work within these limitations since the slab track can be laid in congested urban environments in a patchwork arrangement. The technology allows for the accurate link up of separate sections during the rail laying stage to achieve a smooth, comfortable ride for passengers.

The new streetcar routes in Nottingham, operational by early 2015, will give more people access to clean, convenient and comfortable public transport in a city that is among the least car dependent centers in the UK. The expanded streetcar network will have the capacity to carry 23 million passengers a year travelling in and around the East Midlands capital for business, leisure and study. 

A close working relationship between Alstom and Leica Geosystems has spearheaded research and development work on Appitrack™. The innovative system has previously been used for streetcar and metro construction projects in France, Israel and Singapore. Additional rail installation projects are expected to benefit from the system worldwide.

Leica Nottingham Streetcar 3
James Douglas, Track Survey Manager, Alstom Transport said “Working with Leica Geosystems we have been able to develop bespoke, quality controlled survey and paving solutions that deliver an unparalleled level of accuracy, speed and flexibility. The technology used on this project is cutting the time we spend onsite by 30-40% and making a significant contribution to its timely and efficient delivery. Importantly, it gives the citizens of Nottingham assurance that their new tramway network will be ready for service on time and built to the highest possible standards.”

Watch the Appitrack™ track slab construction and rail installation system in action here:


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