The Lovat RM 394DS Tunnel-Boring Machine with a cutting diameter of 10.2 meters has been launched in the Baikal Tunnel, the second-long tunnel in the country.
The machine is to drive a tunnel that is over 6.5 kilometers long under challenging geological conditions. The tunneling began on the western tunnel entry side, witnessed by journalists and Konstantin Godunov, Mayor of Severobaikalsk. The Mayor has said that after commissioning of the tunnel, the throughput capacity will increase by 45% in the stage, and the region will get a new impetus for development.
The new Baikal railway tunnel will have a single track and two drainage galleries, each 1,500 meters long, extending from the west and east entry sides, respectively.
The tunnel is under construction as part of a JSC RZD project aimed at increasing the throughput capacity of the Baikal – Amur Railway Line. The new Baikal tunnel is expected to be commissioned in 2017 upon completion of a scope of work, mainly including the protection of the walls and the vault from groundwater.
The tunnel crosses the Daban Ridge. It will become one of the longest tunnels on the East-Siberian Railway and the second longest in Russia, measuring 6,608 meters.
Vladilen Podviznoj / SK MOST