New Baikal Tunnel opens on BAM

Новый Байкальский тоннель открыт на БАМеOn July 28, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the new Baikal tunnel on the BAM via videoconference. The inauguration at the eastern portal of the tunnel was attended by Oleg Belozerov, CEO Chairman of the Managing Board of Russian Railways, Aleksey Tsydenov, Head of the Republic of Buryatia, and Ruslan Baysarov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of USK Most JSC.

The new tunnel is the crucial facility provided for in the BAM and Transsib upgrade agenda.

In his report to the president, Oleg Belozerov emphasized that the agenda for the upgrade and development of the Eastern landfill is being implemented by Russian Railways as scheduled.

"The key task of the current year is to complete the first stage of the project. We keep making progress on schedule. As to the second stage, we have already started and are advancing ahead of schedule. On your instructions, we are considering the third stage together with the Government and the Ministry of Transport. In the near future, together with the shippers, we will devise an optimal development model for the third stage," he said.

The new Baikal tunnel’s western portal is in the Irkutsk region, and the eastern one is in the Republic of Buryatia. It also links the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts.

Construction and installation works got underway in 2014. The builders drilled a tunnel 6682 m long through the mountains of the Baikal ridge. The project employed 1500 workers and 100+ units of mining equipment, road construction machines and vehicles. The tunnel has a depth of up to 300 m, and diameter 8.3 m (inside the lining; 10.2 m incl. the lining).

The new tunnel was drilled 35 m from the old one. Even during construction works, the traffic via the existing tunnel went on.

After the commissioning of the new Baikalsky tunnel and the second track on the Delbichinda - Daban section, its capacity will increase from 17 to 85 pairs of trains per day.