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Old February 23rd, 2020, 10:05 PM   #1161
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PS: RE: THe Oresund bridge. I'd like you to show me a surface-level sea crossing!
I can show you a subsurface one.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 10:02 AM   #1162
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I find it pointless getting involved in this debate, except to say all of those European examples of viaducts look infinitely nicer than the Chinese example shown.

Pointless because aesthetics is a personal thing. That said, I find it hard to understand how someone could look at that example photo in China and not see the difference between the other examples shown.

I don't know if that photo is typical of most viaducts in China, perhaps all the others are better. But that particular one smacks of cheapness and zero effort over aesthetics, one of the byproducts of using the cheapest bidder. If we chose to use China to build our HSL based on that it offers the cheapest bid, it is likely to look cheap.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 02:52 PM   #1163
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Originally Posted by Justme View Post
I find it pointless getting involved in this debate, except to say all of those European examples of viaducts look infinitely nicer than the Chinese example shown.

Pointless because aesthetics is a personal thing. That said, I find it hard to understand how someone could look at that example photo in China and not see the difference between the other examples shown.

I don't know if that photo is typical of most viaducts in China, perhaps all the others are better. But that particular one smacks of cheapness and zero effort over aesthetics, one of the byproducts of using the cheapest bidder. If we chose to use China to build our HSL based on that it offers the cheapest bid, it is likely to look cheap.
It's not entirely fair to call those viaduct supports cheap either.

At the heart of the China HSR core strategy is A) speed of delivery, and B) opportunities for mass production. Added to that there are strict national guidelines on how much farmland you can take up.

Earthworks based solutions require too much time for ground settlement, and time to develop site specific designs (embankment/cutting slopes and piling), and they take up greater width, so they are effectively ruled out.

That leaves viaducts as the default. There are big variations in geology, and you have the near tropical climate in the south and -30 degree temperatures in the north. They want repeatability, and they were short of time, so they came up with this one-size-fits-all over-engineering design - it's not a looker but it's safe and be rolled out fast.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 04:41 PM   #1164
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National preference for viaducts over groundworks definitely visible in the Chinese lines. When one is building thousands of kilemeters of track one can easily build this in a factory setting.

That still does not mean that the Chienese can deliver HS2 way cheaper than the British. It also does not mean that HS2 is poorly enigneered. And definitely does not mean that HS2 is uglier, will destroy communities and whatnot.

I know of many projects in Europe, and North America where communitiesactively fought against elevated alignment - preferring progets relying on groundworks.

Finally. This being England, the groudworks are relatively easy and I will bet my hat and aleft shoe that all the analyses were done that show a groundowrks approach is cheaper, not more expensive and or more acceptable for the communities which in the UK have outsized influence over construction projects.
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