RUSSIA: Contractors Stroy-Trest and SK Most handed a ceremonial key to Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin on August 26 to officially open a 2 465 m second bore built to increase capacity at Mansky tunnel on the Tayshet – Abakan line.

Capacity in the Krasnoyasrk region has been restricted by outdated infrastructure, including the single-track tunnel built in the 1960s. Yakunin said the opening of the second bore was ‘an event of a huge importance’, with RZD ‘looking forward to an increase in freight traffic’ which will require development of railway infrastructure in the east.

Construction began in 2005, with 9·54 m and 3·56 m diameter Lovat TBMs used to bore the main tunnel and a parallel service and drainage tunnel. The ballastless track is designed for a maximum speed of 60 km/h rather than 25 km/h in the older bore, and the waterproofing and lining materials are expected to have a life of 100 years.