China Focus: Smart tech helps construction of China's first sea-crossing high-speed railway
FUZHOU, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Luo Changwei, one of the construction engineers of China's first sea-crossing high-speed railway, finally took a sign of relief after the railway's track-laying work was completed on Aug. 30.
The 277-km railway runs along southeast China's coastline and crosses over three major bays on gigantic bridges. It links Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province, with Xiamen, a port city of Fujian.
As the railway project hit a significant milestone, Luo and his colleagues could finally relax a bit. They joined the project about five years ago and were responsible for building an important section of the railway, a sea-crossing bridge located in the Quanzhou Bay.
"The strong winds and complex marine hydrological environment make construction more difficult," said Luo, adding that he and his colleagues need to monitor tide timings and height every day to plan construction hours and ensure the safety of the workers and the project.
In the limited work time due to environmental challenges, apart from managing the construction schedule, Luo's team has to increase the input in personnel, materials, machinery, and equipment to ensure the on-site construction progress.
During the peak hours of the project, more than 2,000 workers were working on the bridge, and more than 130 sets of special equipment such as tower cranes were used, Luo noted.
To manage such a large project with efficiency and safety, smart equipment emerges as a solution for the various challenges.
For instance, a control system was developed for crane operators so that they can get good visibility of ground operations through a screen in their cab, which is very helpful when moving heavy and large materials or on days with poor visibility.
The project team can also access the system via mobile phones or computers to remotely monitor the conditions of the cranes and cabs.
Thanks to big data, cloud computing and other digital technologies, the use of smart equipment has become a highlight of the railway project construction.
At an intelligence control information center for the project, construction data of each bridge of the project is updated in real time on dozens of screens, and on-site construction progress and equipment conditions are also available.
"The application of intelligent equipment not only saves labor cost but also improves engineering efficiency. Meanwhile, the safety in the construction process is better guaranteed," said Jiang Folin, an information officer at the railway project.
"We integrate information and resources from different stages of the project into a 3D model to guide and instruct the construction in real time," Jiang added.
With a designed speed of 350 km per hour and eight stations along the route, the railway, scheduled to be completed in 2023, is expected to slash the travel time between Fuzhou and Xiamen to just one hour.