China completes first underwater railway tunnel

14 March 2011

China has completed construction of Shiziyang Tunnel, its first underwater railway tunnel that allows trains to travel at top speed of 350kmph.

The 10.8km Shiziyang Tunnel is part of a 140km high-speed rail which connects Guangzhou with the city of Shenzhen in China and Hong Kong.

The tunnel crosses the Pearl River estuary in south China's Guangdong Province. The project has been designed for highest train speeds in underwater tunnels.

Work on the tunnelling project commenced in November 2007. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link is scheduled to commence operations in 2012, which would reduce travel time between Guangzhou and Hong Kong to 40 minutes from the current two hours.

Liu Guangjun, project manager with Shiziyang Tunnel, was reported stating that shielding machines had been used in digging of the tunnel at a depth of 60m underwater.