Vladimir Putin, in a videoconference mode, while in Moscow, at the Congress of transport workers of Russia, gave the command to dig the last meter of the new Baikal tunnel.
The President noted the excellent result and jewelry accuracy of the penetration (only 16 mm with a tolerance of 100 mm), calling it “one of our high-precision weapons”.
Work on laying the tunnel from West to East has been underway since October 2014.
It took several times less time for tunnelers to get through the tunnel compared to the construction of the first Baikal tunnel, which took 10 years to build.
The facility involved 1.5 thousand people and more than one hundred units of mining equipment, road construction machines and vehicles.
The new tunnel, parallel to the main one, involved the Lovat RM394DS tunneling mechanized complex with a cutting diameter of 10.2 m, which was previously successfully used in the construction of the Adler – Alpika-Service highway in Sochi.
The new Baikal tunnel, located on the administrative border of the Irkutsk region and Buryatia, is a major project for modernizing the BAM and TRANS – Siberian railway.
In total, 6682 m were passed by tunnel builders during the construction of the object. After the tunnel is put into operation, the capacity of this section will increase by 2.5 times — from 13.2 million tons to 32.4 million tons of cargo per year, which will allow us to develop additional and promising volumes of transportation of domestic industry products. The new Baikal tunnel is part of the priority measures implemented by Russian Railways for the development of the Eastern railway polygon.
The first train through the tunnel should pass in 2019.