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French connection


I fully agree with Dave Parker in his admiration of French engineering chic. Have you seen even the roundabouts and lampposts around France?

I have just discovered that the Germans and Swiss can also lay claim to advertising their engineering by naming and noting the length, and sometimes elevation also, of their stylish motorway structures. In particular the numerous tunnels with some exotic portals were impressive.

However, one thing seems to unite us all. On reasonably regular trips to France, we have followed the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link alongside the M20, admiring some attractive and impressive structures while appreciating the way the line is blending in with the terrain.

We were therefore dismayed to find on our latest trip the horrendous collection of unattractive steelwork that now surrounds the rail lines - in many places the only thing visible. And it is not much better in Europe.

What a disappointing advertisement for state of the art engineering. Have there been no advances in overhead line support architecture in the last 30 years or so?

Don Mckenzie (M), d. mckenzie@penspen. com

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