Breakthrough in longest railway tunnel in North Africa

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Breakthrough on longest railway tunnel in North Africa

A Chinese firm working on the longest railway tunnel in North Africa has announced that it has officially finished cutting through it, a major achievement for a project that has been underway for years.

China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) announced Monday that the progress on Gantas railway tunnel in Algeria comes after six years of construction work.

According to CRCC, the rocky terrain posed significant challenge leading to its suspension in 2011.

“Geological challenges posed by the expansive rocky terrain had to be overcome during the construction of the railway tunnel,” the firm said in a statement.

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Wang Wenzhong, the vice president of the CRCC, says the tunnel would be a pivotal point for railways in northern Algeria and boost economic growth along the line.

On their part, Algeria believes that the new railway would greatly improve transportation for people and goods once completed, cutting the travel time between Algiers and Oran from four hours to two hours.

The tunnel is located 100 kilometers west of Algiers, capital of Algeria, and composed of two separate tubes at 7,346 meters long in one lane and 7,335 meters long in the other, each for just one track. A total length of 14.68 kilometers, it is the longest railway tunnel in North Africa.

The Gantas railway tunnel in Algeria created more than 4,100 jobs for local people.