Malaysia-China joint train project sees another breakthrough

18 Oct 2022 11:54am
Image for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Image for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
KUALA LUMPUR -The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Malaysia's mega rail project jointly constructed with China Communications Construction Company, sees another successful tunnel breakthrough on Monday.

The 2.8-km long Kuantan Tunnel has achieved a tunnelling breakthrough two months ahead of schedule, becoming the 12th ECRL tunnel to complete the excavation process to date, Xinhua reported, quoting Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) and China Communications Construction ECRL (CCCECRL) as saying in a statement.

"The final blast at Kuantan Tunnel on Monday punched through the last barrier about 1,700 metres from the tunnel's entrance portal. The achievement is a culmination of approximately 4,961,700 man-hours and the adoption of the drill-and-blast method of tunnelling that bored through primarily weathered granite," it said.

"Tunnel excavation works for the single-bore Kuantan Tunnel had progressed to 95.08 per cent prior to today's breakthrough, while its permanent lining rose to a commendable length of 2,463.05 metres. The tunnel has an average height of 11.89 metres and width of 13.26 metres, which is adequate to accommodate two standard gauge railway tracks," it said.

The construction of Kuantan Tunnel will enable the ECRL railway track to comply with its maximum gradient of 0.9 per cent as well as to avoid major open forest cutting in the Bukit Galing forest reserve, as part of efforts to mitigate any environmental impact.

Kong Qi, managing director of CCCECRL, expressed his appreciation for the excellent work progress made by the CCCECRL teams and local contractors in carrying out the tunnelling works that have contributed to the breakthrough.

Darwis Abdul Razak, chief executive officer of MRL, said the breakthrough marks another milestone in the construction of the railway.

"The commitment and teamwork of some 170 ECRL personnel at all levels in carrying out the tunnelling works have contributed to Kuantan Tunnel's breakthrough ahead of schedule. We wish to commend the efforts of the ECRL workforce at Kuantan Tunnel, which saw 380,000 cubic metres of soil and rock excavated safely and with minimal ground movement throughout," he said.

The ECRL runs from Malaysia's largest transport hub Port Klang and travels across the peninsula to Kelantan state in northeastern Malaysia. The rail link is expected to greatly enhance connectivity and bring more balanced growth to the country by linking its less-developed region on the east coast to the economic heartland on the west coast upon its completion in 2026. - BERNAMA
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