Construction of China’s gravity-defying railway connecting Sichuan province with the cloud-capped capital of Tibet autonomous region, Lhasa, has accelerated since the start of the year according to workers involved in the project.
The 1,900-kilometer “second sky road” will be only the second railway to connect Tibet with the rest of the country, following the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which opened in 2006.
An extraordinary engineering feat, the new railway will descend more than 3,000 meters in altitude from the high Tibetan Plateau, passing through a variety of different terrain before finally arriving in the Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu, winning it the nickname the “giant rollercoaster”.
Since January, construction of the section of the line running from Chengdu to the city of Ya’an in western Sichuan has been in full swing, with some 26 bridges and seven tunnels being built.
The pressure is becoming particularly intense for workers constructing the Jin Jiguan No 2 Tunnel, a 1,739-meter tunnel passing through the Jin Jiguan mountain in Ya’an city.
The construction deadline for the tunnel is so tight that a 24-hour work schedule in shifts has been put in place to ensure it can be completed by March, according to a construction worker on the project interviewed by Xinhua News.
Zhong Shihua, a member of the construction team, who has been a tunnel worker for more than 20 years, said: “ I start work at 6:30 am. The truck I operate can pour 140 cubic meters of concrete in an eight-hour shift.”
Construction of the Jin Jiguan No 2 Tunnel, which will pass through Jin Jiguan Mountain in Ya’an city, is underway. The tunnel will form part of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]
A bridge for the Sichuan-Tibet Railway is under construction in Ya’an city. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]
Workers continue their work at the Jin Jiguan No 2 Tunnel in Ya’an city, Sichuan province. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]