China to build world’s longest underwater high-speed rail tunnel

A project to construct China’s first undersea high-speed rail tunnel in eastern Zhejiang Province was approved on Monday, according to The Paper digital newspaper. Investments in the project will amount to over $4 billion.

Construction of the Jintang undersea tunnel is expected to start this year, while the overall project will take six to seven years to complete.

With a maximum depth of 78 meters and a diameter of 14 meters, the 16.2km-long tunnel will be the world’s longest undersea tunnel for high-speed rail upon completion. It will link the Jintang island of Zhoushan and the coastal area of Ningbo.

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The Zhoushan group of islands in Zhejiang province, is very popular with tourists due to the developed hotel infrastructure and clean beaches. Currently, you can get to them by car over a bridge or by air.

When the undersea tunnel is completed, trains traveling at 250 km/h will be able to go from Ningbo to Zhoushan in just 30 minutes. Driving between the two places, connected by a number of bridges, currently takes about three times longer.

According to the officials, the geological exploration AI (artificial intelligence) management system which will be used during construction has functions of full monitoring of the drilling process. It could realize “zero contact” remote supervision and effectively avoid the risk of an epidemic outbreak at the construction site.

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