Saturday, June 22, 2024

The incredible 10-mile underwater rail tunnel which will link two major cities

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Work has begun on an incredible 10-mile underwater tunnel which will see trains speed through it at more than 150mph.

Workers will meet in the middle as they build China’s Jintang Undersea Tunnel which will link Ningbo and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province which will become one of the world’s longest underwater tunnels when it opens in 2028.

The tunnel is said to be one of the most ambitious in the world as tunnelers delve 78m beneath the water’s surface in order to build it in the Jintang Channel.

Investments in the project will amount to over £3 billion.

It will be built beneath one of China’s major water transportation routes which can accommodate large vessels, with Zhoushan Port being one of the world’s busiest ports in terms of annual freight.

Workers will navigate the channel’s complex marine environment, passing beneath various risk factors such as oil pipelines, sea walls, docks, and shipping lanes.

Hu Hao, an engineer from China Railway’s 14th Bureau Group, told China Daily the project would see workers navigate 28 transitions between soft and hard strata.

Hao said: “The construction complexity, difficulty, and risks involved in this process are rarely seen in the world.”

Tunnel boring machines which are able to handle a range of different types of rock layers have been designed especially for the construction of the tunnel.

Upon completion, the tunnel will be the world’s third-longest undersea railway tunnel, trailing the Channel Tunnel linking the United Kingdom and France and Japan’s Seikan Tunnel.

Zhoushan and Ningbo are currently connected by a cross-sea bridge and ferries, which regularly suffer disruptions from typhoons, maritime transportation challenges and holiday congestion resulting in erratic transportation capacities and inconvenience for commuters.

The Jintang Tunnel will be a crucial segment of the 77-km Ningbo-Zhoushan High-Speed Railway, which is expected to be operational in four years.

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