Surveying Index

Surveying the right-of-way for a garden railway involves more than what is required for layouts in the smaller scales built indoors.
The tools one uses differ considerably as one needs to establish the existing topography.

How to start.

The following is a discription of how we surveyed our garden. While the general principals apply to any size and shape of project, you may want to proceed in a different manner.

1. While planning the layout we decided to use the south face of the house as the reference basis line.

2. A spot on the garage floor was designated as "0" elevation reference.

3. Rather than use a grid that covers the complete layout i.e. at 12" or 24" spacing, we use reference points which form a wide, irregular grid.

4. Triangulation is carried out using the track planning software.













Tools and Supplies.







The most important tool required is a Water Level. This can be fashioned from items readily available from hardware stores and "BigBox" places like Home Depot.

A 50ft/16m roll-up measuring tape to measure. You might get by with a shorter one, however keep in mind that adding and subtracting in order to work with the shorter tape may introduce a few errors. This is where Murphy's Law comes into effect.

Stakes to mark the reference points.









Step 1







Establish a base line to which everything else is referenced. The most convenient would be the wall of a house, if this is a long straight, uninterrupted line that's even better.






Step 2







Establish a grid - as loose or as tight as you believe you need - and mark the grid intersect points with stakes. Transfer that same grid onto your drawing of the garden/property.






Step 3







Determine your reference “0” and then the relative height of the ground at the various intersect points of the grid. Transfer results to your drawing.






That’s all!


In our case we established relatively few grid points, if necessary one can always go back and establish additional points as required, using the closest established points.