On June 26, Xiangtian-Putian Railway announced the completion of a 17-kilometer tunnel through Gaogai Mountain. The construction of 113 main tunnels of Xiangtian-Putian Railway has already been completed. The railway is expected to shorten the running time from Nanchang to Fuzhou to 3.5 hours from the original 11 hours time span.
Tunnels account for half of 600km railway length
Xiangtian-Putian Railway is one of the key projects of the 11th Five-year Plan, which runs as a "steel vein" to pump development of the region on the west bank of Taiwan Strait.
With an overall span of 635.861 kilometers, the running speed of Xiangtian-Putian Railway is designed to run 200 kilometers per hour. Construction was launched on October 1, 2008. Total length of 113 tunnels reaches 284.784 kilometers. The newly built tunnel is a double-track tunnel with the length of the left track 17,594 meters and the right 17,612 meters.
Unfavorable geography causes construction problems
Xiangtang-Putian Railway starts in Xiangtang in Nanchang with Putian in Fuzhou as its destination, extending southeast across cities and countries in Jiangxi and Fujian provinces and zigzagging among the mountains of Wuyi and Daiyun. To build high-speed railways among mountains and valleys is one of the greatest difficulties.
It spans mostly through Fujian Province where geographical conditions are unfavorable with vast coverage of plants and a rich reserve of underground water. To solve geographical problems, designers, constructors and supervisors of the project have invited several domestic first-rate experts to construction sites. Xiangtang-Putian Railway Company authorized China University of Geosciences and China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group to monitor geological and hydrological conditions of the national AAAA tourist attraction, Qingyun Mountain, to guarantee a scenic environment.
Construction of Xiangtang-Putian Railway is occupied with track-laying and railway passenger stations. It is expected to begin operating in September 2013.