Construction of roads and installation of a catenary system have begun on the approach to the Beskyd tunnel, the Ukrainian News public joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) announced. The laying of tracks inside the tunnel itself will begin in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the final finishing work is currently taking place.
Railway workers have begun performing the first phase of the laying of tracks at the Beskyd station. It involves reconstruction of the tracks on the approaches to the tunnel, installation of a catenary system, and installation of automation and communication devices.
All the works involving construction of the tunnel is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the tunnel is scheduled to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2018.
As reported, the new dual-track tunnel will have a total length of 1,764 meters. It will lie at a depth of 180 meters below the surface of the Beskyd ridge. The first train is expected to travel through the new tunnel in the second quarter of 2018. The capacity of the tunnel will increase from 47 to 100 pairs of trains per day and the travel speed of trains within the tunnel will increase from 15-40 km/h to 60-70 km/h after its completion.
The existing single-track Beskyd tunnel was built in 1886, and it is the second longest railway tunnel in Ukraine. It is part of the fifth pan-European transport corridor (Italy-Slovenia-Hungary-Slovakia-Ukraine-Russia). More than 60% of the goods transported on transit to Western and Central Europe pass through the Beskyd tunnel.