Established in 1983, the past three decades have seen the company grow from three employees to more than 100, providing world-class survey solutions to the global rail sector from offices throughout the UK and Ireland.

By leveraging a combination of highly qualified personnel and the most cutting-edge technological equipment available, the company offers more than 25 varieties of cost-effective, customised survey solutions. Director, Colin Murphy, says the company’s success can be attributed to, ‘stringent quality control, reliability, efficient turnaround times and superior customer service at all times.’

This client-centred approach is reflected in ongoing relationships with Crossrail, Network Rail, and Thames Water in the UK; the Railway Procurement Agency, Irish Rail, DART, and Luas in Ireland; as well as ARUP, Crown Estate, Cluttons, CBRE, Foster and Partners, Ballymore Group, Durkan Group, Berkeley, Sisk Group – Dragados, Studio Daniel Libeskind New York, and many others.

Track Monitoring

Murphy Surveys’ involvement in several large-scale rail projects has highlighted the importance of track monitoring as a survey solution. It minimises the risk of accidents and their implications in terms of costs, traffic, injuries and casualties. Hazards such as slope instability, obstacles on tracks, settlement, and displacement of rails can be alleviated with a combination of modern sensor equipment, traditional monitoring methods, and well-trained, experienced surveyors.

Monitoring is particularly important whenever work has been carried out on or near tracks. Robotic survey stations such as GeoRobot and Electro Level Beam Systems deliver cost-effective remote monitoring surveys around the clock. If even the slightest deviation occurs, an alarm immediately notifies rail engineers.

As one of the very few companies in the UK with a team of qualified PTS/COSS surveyors and a partnership with Austrian geographical information systems (GIS) manufacturer Geodata, Murphy Surveys integrated a track and tunnel monitoring solution for Network Rail. The package combined inclinometer readings, crack gauges, tilt sensors, and Electro Level Beam readings. In Central Village, Liverpool, underground monitoring was also implemented to ensure that vibrations and settlement does not affect the structural integrity of the railway infrastructure.

Murphy Surveys, in partnership with Geodata, was responsible for monitoring Crossrail’s Farringdon Station project of 2012, also providing setting out and site control services. The monitoring consisted of 3D deformation surveys of existing structures, and geotechnical sensors to observe movement of the ground 24/7. Comprehensive reports were generated using patented software, showing the data results over the whole lifespan of the project.

The busy commercial location demanded excellent planning and liaison with surrounding businesses, and other parties including London Borough, Network Rail and London Underground. Despite the rapid build of 21km of tunnels through a network of existing tunnels and under a busy city, no disturbances were incurred; a testament to the professionalism of the organisations involved.

The next 30 years look promising for Murphy Surveys, as it sets out with a strong focus – to be the leading provider of innovative surveying services to the infrastructure sector in the UK.

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