Inventory Nashville & Eastern Railroad

Statewide, Tennessee

Getty Images/doranjclark

The Nashville & Eastern Railroad Corporation (NERR) is the freight operator for the Nashville & Eastern Railroad Authority (NERA). The short line railroad runs from Nashville, Tennessee 110 miles through Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Watertown, and Cookeville to Monterey.

Along the way are several branch lines including Old Hickory, Carthage, and Vine Hill. A second line operated by their sister company the Nashville & Western Railroad that runs from Nashville to Ashland City was also included. KCI was contracted by CSR Engineering to provide survey and GIS services for the rail line.

Prior to conducting field work, our team created a geodatabase design document that listed features and attributes that would be captured during the field inventory task and was sent to CSR and NERR for review and approval.

Once approved, KCI used the geodatabase to digitize rail features from available aerial imagery, georeferenced railroad VAL maps, and captured easements from the referenced maps. The database will be used by the railroad in their day‐to‐day management of the infrastructure as well as in the development of their Positive Train Control System as mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The next phase of the project was to field inventory features along the commuter rail line using survey-grade GPS. Our team was responsible for creating and configuring field data dictionaries for survey grade work. KCI was also responsible for configuring the geodatabase to work with ESRI ArcPad on mapping grade GPS units. The field work portion of the line utilized CSR Engineering’s high-rail equipment for transport and access. The following items were collected in the field:

  • CL Track
  • Mileposts
  • Train Signals
  • Wayside Signage
  • Culverts
  • Bridges
  • Crossings
  • Utilities
  • Stations
  • Right-of-Way

After all the data was collected, it was reviewed and compared to aerial imagery. Documents and geo-tagged field photos were linked back to features in the geodatabase. The final phase was the implementation of the GIS system for NERR. Railroad staff were trained on the software, and assistance was given on installation of the software.