Hong Kong’s MTR has awarded two more tunnelling contracts on the US$5bn, 26km long twin-tube Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). Contract 811a for the West Kowloon Terminus Approach Tunnels North, has been won by the Bachy/Laing O’Rourke JV, whilst the Dragages/Bouygues JV has scooped the adjacent Contract 820, for the Mei Lai Road to Hoi Ting Road Tunnels.
Contract 820 is the final stretch of running tunnel bringing the line into West Kowloon. At some 3km of twin tube tunnel, the JV will use TBMs to bore the 9.2m diameter bores through mixed ground. Contract 811a will be a short, but complex stretch of cut and cover approach tunnel bringing the north tunnel line into the West Kowloon Terminus.
Currently MTR has awarded three other major tunnelling contracts on the line; Contract 826 – the 3.2km long dual TBM section between Huanggang and Mai Po to the CRCC/Hsin Chong/CRCC 15th Bureau JV
Contract 822 – the 7.6km long twin-tube drill and blast tunnels between Tse Uk Tsuen and Shek Yam to Leighton Asia
Contract 825 – the 2.19km long TBM twin tunnel section between Mai Po and Ngau Tam Mei to Penta-Ocean Construction.
The entire project involves 14.2km of drill-and-blast excavation, 8.5km of mixed-ground TBM tunnelling, and 2km of open-cut excavation.
The TBM sections will have twin bores of an external diameter of 9.2m each with an i.d. of 8.5m lined with the reinforced concrete segments.
When completed in 2015 the XRL will allow commuters from Hong Kong to reach Shanghai in eight hours and Beijing in 10hrs, halving the present 20hr journey.