Wushaoling Tunnel

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The Wushaoling Tunnel (simplified Chinese: 乌鞘岭特长隧道; traditional Chinese: 烏鞘嶺特長隧道; pinyin: Wūshāolǐng Tècháng Suìdào) is a 21.05 km dual-bore railway tunnel in Gansu, north-west China. The east-bound bore opened on 30 March 2006. The west-bound bore is expected to open in October 2006.[1] It was briefly the longest railway tunnel in China[2] until the opening of the 27.84 km Taihang Tunnel in late 2007.


Located on the Lanzhou-Wuwei section of the Lanzhou–Xinjiang Railway, the tunnel has reduced the distance between Dachaigou and Longgou by 30.4 km.[1] Key to the "Eurasian Land Bridge",[2] the tunnel is part of the 3,651 km section linking Lianyungang on the East China Sea coast with Ürümqi in Northwest China.[3]

Administratively, the tunnel is located within two county-level units of Wuwei Prefecture-level City. The eastern (actually, southeastern) portal is in Bairi Tibetan Autonomous County (a.k.a. Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County); the western (actually, northwestern) portal, in Gulang County.


The tunnel consists of two bores with centres separated by 40 m. It is designed to allow speeds of 160 km/h.[1] The tunnel travels through complex geology, involving four regional fault zones and soft rock. The New Austrian Tunnelling method was adopted as the construction technique. An elliptical cross-section (horseshoe shape) was used for the majority of the tunnel, with a circular section used in the geologically challenging Fault Zone No. 7.[4] The right (east-bound) bore was constructed first, while the left tunnel was a parallel drift with smaller diameter to be enlarged later. The gradient is mainly 1.1%. The Wuwei portal has an altitude of 2447 m, and the Lanzhou portal 2663 m. The maximum depth of the tunnel is 1100 m.[5]

On 26 June 2003 Interfax reported that the total investment for the project was ¥ 7 billion ($845 million), that the project commenced construction in November 2002 and that it was scheduled to take six and a half years to complete. Also reported was that Chinese steel manufacturer Lingyuan Iron and Steel (Linggang) would provide 4,360 tons of steel products for the tunnel project.[6]



  1. ^ a b c "Intelligence". Railway Gazette International. 1 May 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  2. ^ a b "The Longest Railway Tunnel in China--Wushaoling Extra-Long Tunnel". 26 December 2006.
  3. ^ "China opens Asia's longest land tunnel railway". The Press Trust of India Limited. Asia Pulse Pty Limited. 31 March 2006.
  4. ^ Yang, J.S.; et al. (May–July 2006). "Interactions of four tunnels driven in squeezing fault zone of Wushaoling Tunnel". Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 21 (3–4): 359. doi:10.1016/j.tust.2005.12.176.
  5. ^ Liu, Zhichun; et al. (May–July 2006). "Synthetical analysis on monitoring of Wushaoling railway tunnel". Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 21 (3–4): 363–364. doi:10.1016/j.tust.2005.12.180.
  6. ^ "Lingyuan Iron & Steel to Supply Steel Products for Asia's Longest Railway Tunnel". Interfax Companies & Commodities. 26 June 2003.