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Construction of China-Myanmar railway progressing steadily in Yunnan

Updated:2019-01-04 18:40:09   XinHua

It is already midwinter. The construction of Dali-Ruili railway, the last section of China-Myanmar railway in China, is picking up speed. And the longest railway tunnel in China—the Gaoligong tunnel— is advancing at full speed.

From the ancient Southern Silk Road to the Yunnan-Myanmar Highway that played a vital role in Chinese people’s war of resistance against Japanese aggression, Yunnan province maintained exchanges with South and Southeast Asia for thousands of years. In the past times, however, the lofty Gaoligong Mountains hindered the opening-up and development of western Yunnan. The peoples on both sides had to climb over the mountains to stay in touch.

In late 2015, as the dominant project of Dali-Ruili railway, the 34.538-kilometer-long Gaoligong tunnel began to force its way through the hardly surmountable mountain.

The Gaoligong Mountains have almost all the adverse geological structures that baffle tunnel construction. The risks, among others, include wall rock deformation, broken fracture zones, rock burst, water and mud inrush and high terrestrial heat.

Before the tunnel went into construction, the design alone took ten years and more than 30 lines were proposed. “After repeated exploration and comparison, experts decided on the present proposal,” said Si Jingzhao, chief engineer of Dali-Ruili Project Management Team of the China Railway Tunnel Bureau Group. To ensure safety and progress, the Group innovatively used the hard rock roadheader for the first time under the complicated geological conditions in western Yunnan.

Now Caiyun and Caiyun I, two hard rock roadheaders independently developed by China, are in use at the tunnel construction site, improving the efficiency by six to eight times as compared with the conventional methods. So far, the main tunnel has advanced more than 3,000 meters, over 2,200 meters of which have been dug with Caiyun.

"The two hard rock roadheaders are independently developed by China for the Gaoligong tunnel. The forward thrust has increased by more than 50 percent compared with past versions," said He Fei, vice president of General Institute of Design and Research of China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co., Ltd.

Currently, the construction of Dali-Ruili railway is steadily advancing, and the railway is expected to go into operation within four years. By then, passengers will hopefully cover the over 600 kilometres between Kunming and Ruili in less than six hours, cutting the travelling time by more than two hours from the original travelling time by highway.

Translated from Xinhua,Photos from Xinhua and Yunnan Daily

Editor: John Li

Keywords:   China-Myanmar railway