We have produced visualisations of various points along the proposed route as we believe it is very important to give people a fair representation of how the line would look. This means that they can make informed comment on its visual impact when they respond to the consultation. And we can use their feedback to shape decisions on reducing visual impact, through design changes and mitigation, if the project is taken forward.
Objectors to HS2 have produced their own, inaccurate images. This is misleading for those trying to find out what impact the line would have in their local area. Our visualisations accurately depict how the railway would look if it’s built exactly according to current designs. If the proposals go ahead, in the next stage of work we would start detailed design work, on structures that would suit the local landscape.
We chose locations that gave an even coverage of the proposed route, while including key points that people might be interested in for visual impact and local sensitivity. We listened to stakeholder feedback, for example when they told us “this view is important”.
We used modelling, mapping and photography to create the visualisations, which can be understood as a kind of “visual prototype”. We used a high quality digital camera to take shots from the public highway – from where most people would see the railway – and included beauty spots and viewing areas.
So that we could match the image to accurate design and terrain models, we surveyed the camera position and key points in the original image. This created what’s known as “verified views”. We then used Photoshop to give an accurate representation of the trees and buildings.
To create aerial views – views from above the route – we took photographs from the air and matched them to our digital maps. We placed the proposed HS2 rail route into the shot, using our design model as a guide and adding Photoshop images of typical railway infrastructure.
We have not enhanced the images – shots are true to life on the day they were taken: for example, in some cases they are rainy, misty and include rubbish bins. These are not “made-over” photos.
The visualisations help HS2 Ltd in making design decisions, help people to comment on the scheme and, by giving an honest representation of how the railway proposals would look, they allow residents and interested parties to more fully understand local impact.
Delta Junction – HS2 proposals make less impact than motorway and other transport. The motorway is much wider than the proposed railway width.
The Wendover beauty spot view would be unchanged should HS2 proposals go ahead
Northolt Corridor in 2011, top, and as HS2 visualisation, bottom
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