Nottingham tram extension relies on Leica Geosystems precision technology

A pioneering, mechanised system for track construction, developed by Alstom Transport and Leica Geosystems, is driving the speedy, high accuracy delivery of two new tram lines for Nottingham Express Transit (NET). 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 millimetre 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 tramway in close proximity to an urban community places particular constraints on productivity. For reasons of safety, time spent on site may be limited and minimising disruption to the public will also be a consideration. The Appitrack™ system allows the construction team in Nottingham to work within these limitations as 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 tram routes, operational by early 2015, will give more people in Nottingham access to clean, convenient and comfortable public transport in a city that is amongst the least car dependent centres in the UK. The expanded tram 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 tram and metro construction projects in France, Israel and Singapore.

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 on the Leica Geosystems YouTube channel:

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