Social Responsibility

Fully-enclosed Arched Sound Barrier for High-speed Railway Safeguards the “Birds Paradise”

Published:2018-08-01

  On the morning of July 1, an EMU train passed through the fully-enclosed arched sound barrier for high-speed railway at a speed of 200 km/h. It passed by the famous tourist site called Birds Paradise in a silent manner. Birds in the site were flying happily when the train passed.

  On that day, the whole line of Jiangmen-Zhanjiang Railway was opened to traffic. This railway is an important part of the coastal railway corridor of the high-speed railway network composed of 8 west-east railway corridors and 8 north-south railway corridors. It consists of 3 sections including the new Shenzhen-Maoming Section and Jiangmen-Maoming Section.

  “Birds Paradise” is a small island covering an area of about 10,000 m2 in Tianma Village, Xinhui District, Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province. There is an old banyan tree well known nationwide and more than 30,000 birds in dozens of species such as the night herons, little egrets, and cattle egrets. Every morning, thousands of birds dance in light fog, stand on the trees, and sing amazing songs, affording the people a magnificent spectacle.

  In 1933, Mr. Ba Jin, a master in literature, visited Birds Paradise by boat. Surprised at the numerous flying birds, he was full of joy and then wrote the popular essay “The Paradise of Birds”. Later, Mr. Ba Jin wrote an inscription of four characters, literally “birds paradise” and the tourist site was named after the inscription. Today, “Birds Paradise” has become a renowned natural bird watching site of China which attracts millions of tourists.

  Shenzhen-Maoming railway, the first railway that connected the core city of Pearl River Delta with the west of Guangdong province, was approved in 2015. Due to geographic limitation, Tianma country where “Bird Paradise” located, was the place that the railway had to pass. The railway was only 800m away from the core area of “Bird Paradise”. It thus became a challenge for builders whether the train would disturb the birds or not.   

   Lucid waters and lush mountains were invaluable assets. The construction of railway couldn’t disturb happy birds. The sound level of core area couldn’t exceed 50 decibels in line with the requirements of environmental impact assessment.    

  CHINA RAILWAY Guangzhou Co., Ltd. adopted sound barrier technology after comparison and demonstration. The sound barrier project implemented a scientific experiment which lasted two years and a half.

  “Jointly with research institutes, we carried out theoretical analysis and wind tunnel experiment and decided to increase a cost of 187 million yuan to build a fully-enclosed sound barrier.” Li Jianqiang, the chief engineer of the construction section from China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co., Ltd. said. With the total length of 2036m and arched shape, the sound barrier consisted of arched steel frameworks as well as tailor-made acoustic panel absorbers and sound boarding, minimizing acoustic and optimal interference caused by train operation.         

  Implementing the theory of environmental protection during the construction, railway builders conducted construction from October to December instead of March to July when birds entered breeding season in “Bird Paradise”. Low-noise equipment and temporary sound barrier were adopted to decrease adverse impacts caused by the construction. After 60 days’ low-noise construction, they successfully built up a safe and quality HSR fully-closed sound barrier on December 15, 2017.

  The shape of the barrier is beautiful and unique from a far sight. Different from common railway sound barriers, the sound barrier is arched and fully enclosed like an arched lid covering the railway.

  Through researchers’ final detection, the noise generated by an operating train at the speed of 200km/h increases less than 0.2 decibels in the core area of “Bird Paradise”, which can be almost negligible.   

  China HSR has long adhered to the philosophy of green development as well as harmonious coexistence with ecological environment. Consequently, Shenzhen-Maoming section of Jiangmen-Zhanjiang railway spent an extra of 187 million yuan to ensure a quiet environment for over 30 thousand birds in “Bird Paradise”.     

  “The average cost of per kilometer is over 90 million yuan, but what we have invested is the philosophy of green development. The sound barrier in ‘Bird Paradise’ provides       successful experience for environmental protection during HSR construction.

  Protect ecology and construct green HSR. China HSR “sneak through” the conservation area in a “noise-elimination” way, presenting “Silence is better than sound”.

  “We clap, and a big bird flies; then a second and a third one. We keep clapping, and it get alive with birds everywhere.” Bajin, a renowned Chinese writer, once clapped together with his friends and disturbed numerous birds.

   Nowadays, over 30 thousand birds living on banyan trees are unaware when trains pass through the area at a high speed. Birds still sing songs, and harmony between man and nature still as before.    

  

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