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The infrastructure heritage of Chinese Eastern Railway: Its characteristics and sustainable strategies

9:00 AM, Thursday 1 Sep 2022 (20 minutes)
The Chinese Eastern Railway (CER) and its infrastructure are the most important railway industrial heritage in northeast China, containing a large number of buildings and such infrastructures as bridges, culverts, tunnels, and railway spirals, which were built to travel through mountains and cross rivers in complex terrains. These were carefully designed by engineers, reflecting a high level of modern design and construction techniques of early 20th century. Meanwhile, the aging railway and infrastructures like bridges, railway spirals had been closely connected to the natural surroundings, creating a new unique cultural landscape far more different with the traditional ones in northeast China. However, many railway infrastructures had been changed as time passed by; some even had been abandoned due to the alteration of the route, while few studies or concerns were concentrated on these significant heritages. In this case, this paper aims to demonstrate the railway infrastructure heritage of CER built in the first half of the 20th century from the perspective of industrial archaeology, especially focusing on its functional and technical characteristics as an industrial heritage. Digital Elevation Model(DEM) will be adopted to give a quantitative analysis on geographic parameters such as height, aspect, and elevation, in locations of bridges and railway spirals, hence to reveal the landscape properties and characteristics of the railway infrastructures. Moreover, based on both the field investigation and quantitative analysis, this paper will thus discuss the possible sustaining strategies for the infrastructure heritage, including original function maintenance, complete function transformation, and partial function transformation.
School of Architecture,Harbin Institute of Technology,China
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