MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in the inauguration ceremony for the start of railway traffic through the second Baikal tunnel on Wednesday via a video link, the Kremlin’s press service said on Tuesday.
"The new tunnel crosses the Baikal ridge and connects two Russian regions: the western portal is situated in the Irkutsk Region and the eastern one - in the Republic of Buryatia," the press service said. "Construction of the tunnel started in 2014 as part of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian railways upgrade and development project, which is being implemented in accordance with instructions of the Russian President and government," it added.
Builders, operations specialists and chief executives of Russian Railways and USK Most will take part in the inauguration ceremony. In total, 1,500 people worked on the construction of the tunnel, the Kremlin’s press service said.
"Development underground reached 6,682 meters in challenging geological conditions. The progress hit 300 meters per month, with the tunnel running to a depth of up to 300 meters," the press service noted.
The old single-track Baikal tunnel was one of bottlenecks on the Baikal-Amur Mainline. The traffic will now be on both tracks.