VIENTIANE, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- A Key tunnel of China-Laos railway has been drilled through by China Railway No. 8 Engineering Group (CREC-8) near the ancient Lao capital of Luang Prabang, some 220 km north of capital Vientiane.
With the roar of the excavator, the last piece of rock was crushed in the 1,001-meter-long Houay Han No. 1 Tunnel of China-Laos railway on Sunday, and the completion was 43 days ahead of schedule.
The Houay Han No. 1 Tunnel is located in the mountainous northern Laos with few population and tough geographical conditions. Likewise, the roads to the construction sites are rugged, which making the transportation in the rainy seasons especially difficult.
The first 564 meters of the tunnel from the entrance are in double lines, since they will be parts of a future railway station, while the rest is built as a single line tunnel.
The China-Laos railway is harvesting fruitful achievements after its construction commenced three years ago, with many tunnel drilled through recently.
The 4,585-meter-long Ban Ka No. 1 Tunnel near Luang Prabang was drilled through on Nov. 8 by the CREC-8, while the Boten Tunnel, the first major tunnel over 5,000 meters along the China-Laos railway was drilled through in March by China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group (CREC-5).
Xinhua is informed that the 2,600-meter-long Houay Han No. 3 is to be bored through on Tuesday, while the longest tunnel of the China-Laos railway, the 9,384-meter-long Ban Sen Tunnel is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The China-Laos railway has holed through over 40 tunnels so far, out of its 76 tunnels with total length of 198 km.
The China-Laos Railway is a strategic docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos' strategy to convert from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.
The 414.332-km railway, with 198-km tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.
The electrified passenger and cargo railway is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards.
The project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed and opened to traffic in December 2021.