Yury Trutnev: it is necessary to increase the carrying capacity of the Eastern Polygon to develop the country’s economy

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Yury Trutnev checked out the progress of the new Dusse-Alin Tunnel construction on the Baikal-Amur Mainline in the Khabarovsk Region

Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation – Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev checked out the progress of the new Dusse-Alin Tunnel construction on the Baikal-Amur Mainline in the Khabarovsk Region and presented state decorations to nine builders, who had participated earlier in the construction of the second Baikal Tunnel.

“Some of the most important work in our country is being carried out here. The way we get through the sanctions, the way we cope with those attacks from the unfriendly states hitting the Russian economy depends on it. We need to increase the carrying capacity of the Eastern Polygon. The new Dusse-Alin Tunnel is being built for this purpose. This work is extremely necessary for the country,” Yury Trutnev said.

584 people and about 100 units of equipment are involved in the construction of the new facility performed as a part of the modernization of the Baikal-Amur Mainline. Tunnelling is carried out by drilling and blasting method. Blastholes are drilled into the face, explosives are laid into them, and then an explosion is conducted to break the rock off the rock mass of the ridge. Once the rocks are removed, the formwork is installed and the concrete is laid, then the cycle repeats. In total, it is needed to carry out 1,220 such cycles from the western and eastern portals to pass through 1,824.32 meters of the tunnel.

“According to Russian Railways, this year 158 million tons will be transported by the Eastern Polygon. 144 million tons were transported last year. It is planned to increase the carrying capacity up to 280 million tons by 2035. The Dusse-Alin Tunnel is a bottleneck of the BAM, which we are now expanding. To increase the carrying capacity, it is necessary to build not only the tunnel, but also stations and interchanges,” Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bamtonnelstroy-Most Group of Companies Ruslan Baisarov said.

“We need to eliminate a series of bottlenecks on the BAM. And there is one more detail. The existing plans on modernization of the BAM and Transsib are outdated. They were drafted at the time when traffic flows had not yet diverted to the East. Now, we need a different pace, different solutions, different amount of people. Today, we do not transport all the cargoes that should be delivered to the eastern borders. It means that a part of the cargoes of the companies remains in the initial place. Every ton, and in the context of the Eastern Polygon we can speak about every million of tons that remain on the territory of Russia, is a loss to the country’s economy at the time when it needs intensive development. The expansion of the Eastern Polygon is a challenge which is being solved now by the Government,” Yury Trutnev said.

Around 16-17 train pairs pass through the existing Dusse-Alin Tunnel per day. The new tunnel will allow to let 25 train pairs pass through, as it is on the Baikal Tunnel. “Here the bottleneck is 2 km long, there will be the first and the second transfer stations meaning that no trains will stop here. It will result in a 20-30% increase of cargo turnover on this section,” Chief of Tunnel Division of Bamtonnelstroy-Most Group of Companies Viktor Ryndych explained. He added that the preparation of infrastructure for people to live and delivery of necessary construction materials – concrete, reinforcement frames, metal products – will be completed in September. Builders plan to put the tunnel into operation in late 2024 or in early 2025.

According to Governor of the Khabarovsk Region Mikhail Degtyarev, the new tunnel construction will have an impact on the growth of the gross regional product as a new tax base will appear due to the earnings generated by the Far Eastern Railway and transport companies.

“It is a key project for us with regard to the development of the Eastern Polygon, the BAM, and other projects in logistics,” he said.

After inspecting the development of the new Dusse-Alin tunnel’s face by drilling and blasting method Yury Trutnev presented state decorations to nine builders of Bamtonnelstroy-Most Group of Companies for their significant contribution to the construction and traffic launch through the second Baikal Tunnel that had been commissioned in July last year.

Grade IV Shaftsman Mikhail Bondarenko and Grade VI Anatoly Lavrenyuk were awarded the Order of Honour. Grade III Underground Miner Vladimir Beloshapkin, Grade V Electric and Gas Welder Sergey Lonshakov, and Chief of Tunnel Division Viktor Ryndych were awarded the Medal of the Order “For Merit for the Fatherland”, 1st Class. Power Engineer of Underground Worksite Andrey Mokhovikov and Grade IV Shaftsman Alexey Popov were awarded the Medal of the Order “For Merit for the Fatherland”, 2st Class. Grade IV Electric and Gas Welder Evgeny Iglinov and Grade III Underground Miner Igor Smirnov of STROY-TREST JSC (a member of Bamtonnelstroy-Most Group of Companies) were awarded the Russian Federation Presidential Certificate of Gratitude. 

“I sincerely would like to congratulate the awarded workers with high state decorations. In particular, it is worth noting that the work that you have already been doing here nowadays is probably one of the most important works in our country now. You know perfectly well that due to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the unfriendly states, all the traffic flows turned to the East. And the development of the Russian economy now depends on the carrying capacity of the Eastern Polygon. I thank you for this extremely important work. We really put our hope in you. I wish you all the best,” Yury Trutnev said.

The construction of the first Dusse-Alin Tunnel began in 1939, but was suspended in 1942. The tunnel was finally finished only when the active construction works on BAM were resumed in 1975, commissioning took place on November 4, 1982.

Today, the first Dusse-Alin Tunnel significantly hinders the traffic on the BAM: dimensional restrictions on cargo transportation have been introduced due to its outdated design. It was impossible to close the tunnel for reconstruction, so it was decided to build the new Dusse-Alin Tunnel.

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