Railroads are an integral part of the United States' infrastructure. From the early days of our Nation, railroads have played a part in the development of our economy and the Nation as a whole. Because so many railroads exist throughout the country, surveyors must be familiar with how they were originally placed. Most surveyors will, at one time or another, have to perform a survey that is affected by a previous railroad survey. This paper provides an overview of the history of the United States' railroad system, and then discusses the instruments and procedures used to map and lay out railroads. Finally, the methods of calculating and laying out simple and spiral curves are described.
SaLIS is a scientific journal devoted to reporting research and new work conducted to advance geodetic surveying, land surveying, large-scale mapping, and geographic information systems designed to advance the development and management of the cadastral parcel data layer and other land information applications. SaLIS publishes research articles, technical papers, technical notes, papers on the current state of surveying education, surveying history, book reviews, and current literature reviews. Every four years, the journal publishes the U.S. Report to the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). The Proceedings of the Surveying Teachers Conference are published bi-annually.