MARAN: The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has reached another milestone with the successful excavation of all tunnels from Kelantan to Mentakab, Pahang.
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, who is the Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) chairman, said the breakthrough of the Kampung Gedung Siam 3 tunnel here marks the completion of tunnelling works along Section A (from Kota Baru-Dungun) and Section B (Dungun-Mentakab).
“I am happy to announce that the 1,328m-long Kampung Gedung Siam 3 tunnel has been successfully broken through according to schedule using the drill-and-blast method.
“With an average height of 13.47m and a width of 13.02m, the tunnel will enable the operation of two standard gauge railway tracks later,” said Mohd Zuki at the event to mark the milestone here yesterday.
“With the effort and close cooperation of the ECRL team under the management of the Maran base camp, I understand that the infrastructure work of Kampung Gedung Siam 3 tunnel is expected to be fully ready by April 2024,” he added.
Out of the 25 ECRL tunnels that had achieved tunnelling breakthroughs to date, Mohd Zuki said 21 were located in Sections A and B, proving MRL and China Communications Construction Sdn Bhd’s (CCC-ECRL) capability in overcoming engineering challenges and making use of modern tunnelling technology.
He said with the success in Section B, MRL is confident that tunnelling works in Section C, from Mentakab to Port Klang, will also proceed smoothly and according to schedule.
Of the 19 tunnels in Section C, the excavation of four tunnels, including the 793m-long Kampung Temiang 1 tunnel, achieved breakthrough this year, he added.
Mohd Zuki said the excavation of the 16.39km-long Genting twin tunnel using two tunnel boring machines from China is proceeding per schedule, and with breakthrough expected by the second quarter of 2025.
He said the ECRL project is pleased with the completion of critical works involving the installation of long-span bridges of 108m each at five locations in Sections A and B, adding that the installation of ECRL tracks will be implemented in the fourth quarter of this year, beginning with the 90km rail alignment from Gebeng to Dungun.
Also present at the event were Land Public Transport Agency director-general Datuk Azlan Shah Al Bakri, MRL chief executive officer Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak and CCC-ECRL managing director Kong Qi.