Yichang-Wanzhou Railway surveyed and designed by SIYUAN has a total length of 377km. On December 22, 2010, the opening ceremony of Yichang-Wanzhou Railway was hold in Yichang. By crossing over 20 underground rivers, over 30 high pressure and water enrichment faults, and over 100 large karst caves, conquering geological disasters like water bursting and mud gushing for more than a hundred times, Yichang-Wanzhou Railway—— known as the railway built on “the underground Yangtze River” with the most difficulties, most bridges & tunnels, longest construction period, and highest cost, was finally open to traffic after 7-year hard struggles by up to 50,000 constructers.
Yichang-Wanzhou Railway, stretching from Yichang city of Hubei province in the east to Wanzhou district of Chongqing in the west, is an important part of the Shanghai- Wuhan- Chengdu Railway Line. With average annual construction progress of only over 50 km following the ground breaking in 2004, it’s a railway with the longest construction period per km in China. Passing through Karst caves, steep cliffs, deep mountain valleys, and underground river areas, with 70% of the line crossing high karst development areas and 8 tunnels of level-I risks crossing deeply-buried high-pressure Karst areas, and acknowledged as “the forbidden zone of road constructions ” by experts both home and abroad due to the water and mud gushing problems of world-class difficulties encountered during its construction, it’s a mountain railway with the most constructional difficulties in China. With per km cost of over 6,000 Yuan, double that of Qinghai-Tibet Railway, it’s a railway with the highest cost per km in China. With more than 400 tunnels and bridges, accounting for 74% of the entire line, it’s known as “museum of bridges and tunnels”, topping the world in this regard.
SIYUAN had carried out 45 studies of 15 research topics in 3 categories including complete set of technical reaches on engineering construction, technical reaches on transportation safety, and technical reaches on environmental engineering. With pioneering researches on risks classification of complicated tunnels, advance geological prediction, pressure reduction via drainage, grouting, hydrological monitoring, and disaster warning, etc., constructional risks had been tremendously reduced. And by virtue of the researches and applications of the large-span prestressed concrete rigid frame bridge technologies, the testing technologies of bridge types under complicated terrains, and the large-span T-shaped rigid frame structure design and construction testing technologies, the gaps in domestic bridge technologies have been filled up.
The technological innovations enable Yichang-Wanzhou Railway to pass through the “engineering forbidden zone”, making “Yichang-Wanzhou Railway engineering experiences” the “valuable guidebook on road constructions” for mountain areas worldwide. Since commencement of its construction, all participant units of CRCC have been dedicated to tackling technical problems by collecting and integrating wisdoms of all parties and exploiting resources of the whole society. With historical breakthroughs in technologies such as integrated geophysical prospecting with advance geological prediction, safety & quality control of long-large tunnels under complicated geological conditions, water plugging construction, water bursting and mud gushing treatment, etc., the tunnel works with specially complicated geologies rarely seen worldwide have been constructed safely with high-qualities, including Maluqing Tunnel, Qiyueshan Mountain Tunnel, Jinzishan Mountain Tunnel, Yesanguan Tunnel, Changling Tunnel, etc..
The constructors have carried out and accumulated experiences in such technical researches as massive karst cavern risk treatment, hydrogeological interpretation, and safety control, etc., and have created the karst cavern “energy releasing and pressure reducing” method as well as the “super- large volume high-pressure concealed karst cavern water discharge” method, filling the gaps of several technologies in domestic karst cave tunnel construction. Besides, they have also developed several new tunnel construction technologies and techniques, such as mechanical equipment and rapid construction technologies for long-large tunnel, long-distance ventilation technique, counter-slope drainage technique, etc.
The communication engineering of Yichang-Wanzhou railway is the most sophisticate, most advance and most comprehensive representative of mountain railway communication system in domestic railway communication construction field. By keeping improving during construction, and seeking for perfection of construction techniques, the constructors have completed the construction with both quality and quantity assured.
All participant units insisted on green construction, protecting ecology, strengthening environmental protection and water-soil conservation. Without changing the structural stress or loading of retaining, reinforcement and protection works, green protection works were constructed as far as possible. With newly planted trees and flowers, the railway line has been beautified and animated, well praised by all sectors of the society.
With its opening to traffic, Yichang-Wanzhou Railway has been playing a very important role in improving the outward transportation capacity of Sichuan & Chongqing regions, pushing forward the development of western regions, promoting balanced development between regions, and enhancing national unity. By connecting with the under-construction Hankou-Yichang Intercity Railway and Chongqing-Lichuan Railway, it will take only 5 hours by EMUs from Wuhan to Chongqing, and “morning departure – evening arrival” will be realized for traveling from Chengdu and Chongqing to Shanghai. This will shorten the time distance between southwest region and Yangtze River Delta, changing the history of “difficult to pass through Shu Road” ever after.