Wilson & Company

Experts’ Collaboration Key to Success

By Erin Casey

Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) has taken an aggressive role in following LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines in their Strauss Yard project. LEED principles are significant elements in the development of the main facility and the yard’s administration office. UPRR desired an energy efficient and environmentally friendly facility, and Wilson & Company (Wilson & Company, Inc., Engineers & Architects) met their needs.

Wilson & Company has offered a comprehensive list of services for more than 76 years, and collaboration is often a key in offering those services. Several of the firm’s service divisions teamed up on the Strauss Yard project, a major rail project in Strauss, New Mexico. The UPRR selected Wilson & Company to design their run-through fueling facility, crew change facility, and intermodal block swap yard. Construction on the new facility is set to begin in late 2009, with a site footprint totaling approximately 1,000 acres, including a future development area. This project required the expertise of surveyors, photogrammetrists, rail designers, and transportation engineers, mechanical, electrical, and drainage engineers, and architects.



The ability to coordinate each aspect of the project within one company offered the client a tremendous advantage. Four divisions within Wilson & Company worked together on communication and coordination of production, schedule, and delivery. Scope development was approached as a unified strategic mission. The project production phase had uniformity and single source delivery of product. When changes were made mid-project, communication was straightforward, rather than having to communicate to several sub-consultants. The project’s electronic files were stored in a central location for easy access by project team members. Wilson & Company’s Project Manager Stephen Dick summarized up the project as “one-stop shopping” for UPRR.

The Strauss Yard project is a significant project for the UPRR because of its Southwestern location. The project, a keystone for the Sunset Corridor, is a critical competitive route among Class I railroads. Once operational, it is estimated that the new facility will process 50 trains per day initially with allowance for growth. The facility will boost the regional economy by attracting light manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution facilities to the southern New Mexico/western Texas region, creating hundreds of related employment opportunities.

Utilizing a synergy of field survey and aerial mapping techniques, Wilson & Company surveyors and photogrammetrists developed the comprehensive, high accuracy 3D geospatial data required for engineering design. Direct coordination between the survey and engineering design teams at the outset of this project assured that the project scope and extent were clearly defined. Wilson & Company surveyors performed cadastral surveying and developed property descriptions for the land exchange with the State of New Mexico and Bureau of Land Management. Field surveyors established aerial photo ground control and collected supplemental field utility data during the same mobilization. Our photogrammetrists then utilized digital mapping work stations to integrate the field survey data with the aerial mapping data that was being collected. Continual coordination with the engineering design team throughout the project assured that specific needs and milestones were being met. The result was a comprehensive design service performed entirely by Wilson & Company professional staff.

Wilson & Company has five LEED accredited professionals on staff and was able to assist UPRR in realizing their “green” goals. Internally, Wilson & Company has also initiated Project Greenprint which focuses on reducing their carbon footprint and increasing sustainable business practices.

» Back to our Aerial Mapping March 2009 Issue

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