Baikal tunnel (3)

RUSSIA: President Putin has inaugurated the second bore of the Baikal tunnel, built as part of a double-tracking project which will increase capacity on the Delbichinda to Daban section of the Baikal – Amur main line from 17 to 85 trains each way per day.

Baikal tunnel (7)

‘The tunnel is very important achievement for our transport network, and important for the entire national economy’, Putin said via video link on July 28.

The tunnel is 5 522 km east of Moscow. The first bore is 6 686 m long and was opened on December 31 1985 to provide a more direct route than the original BAM alignment used from 1979.

Baikal tunnel (6)

The second bore is 6 682 m long, 8·3 m in diameter and located 35 m from the original. It was built by SK Most subsidiary Bamtonnelstroy, with construction beginning in May 2014 and the breakthrough occurring on March 5 2018.

Both portals of the tunnel are protected by gates designed provide a constant temperature of 9°C. In the event of a emergency, a train can be driven through the gates.