Port Wings News Network:
Construction of the second Baikal tunnel-the most important part of the BAM and Trans-Siberian Modernization Program-is coming to an end.
According to operational data, 6372 m (out of a total length of 6682 m) has been dug. The average pace of the second Baikal tunnel is 12 m per day. The LOVAT technical complex has almost reached the eastern portal. The tunnel is planned to be completely dug-through by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
In November 2017, the excavation of eastern and western drainage shafts was completed by boring. They are 1747 and 1500 m, respectively.
Construction of the second Baikal tunnel began in 2014. The site employs 1500 people and more than 100 pieces of mining equipment, road-construction machinery and vehicles. It will be put into operation in 2019.
The new Baikal tunnel will significantly increase the capacity of the Severobaykalsk-Lena section. The current Baikal Tunnel is one of the largest barriers of the East Siberian Railway. The throughput of the Daban-Delbichinda line has almost been exhausted. No further increase in capacity is possible there without a double railway line through the Baikal Ridge and building double tracks for nearby lines.