Malaysia-China Joint Rail Project Saw Another Breakthrough
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 (NNN-BERNAMA) -The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Malaysia’s mega rail project, jointly constructed with China Communications Construction Company, saw another successful tunnel breakthrough yesterday.
The 2.8-km-long Kuantan Tunnel, achieved a tunnelling breakthrough, two months ahead of schedule, becoming the 12th ECRL tunnel to complete the excavation process, to date, Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) and China Communications Construction ECRL (CCCECRL) said.
“The final blast at Kuantan Tunnel today (yesterday), 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-hour, 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 progressed to 95.08 percent 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 the Kuantan Tunnel will enable the ECRL railway track to comply with its maximum gradient of 0.9 percent, 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 tunneling works contributed to the Kuantan Tunnel’s breakthrough ahead of schedule. We wish to commend efforts of the workforce at Kuantan Tunnel, which saw 380,000 cubic metres of soil and rock excavated safely and with minimal ground movement throughout.”
The ECRL runs from Malaysia’s largest transport hub, Port Klang, and travels across the peninsula to Kelantan state, in north-eastern 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.