Builders recently drilled the first of the three cross-passages that will connect the new dual-track Beskyd tunnel to the old single-track tunnel. The cross-passage, which has a diameter of 5 meters, is located at a distance of 411 meters from the eastern portal. Railroad workers servicing the tunnel will use the cross-passage. It can also be used for the evacuation in an emergency.

According to the Magistral publication, a temporary support (metal arches) has been installed and concreted inside the cross-passage.

Construction of the second cross-passage is currently underway, said Mykola Didukh, the head of the Lviv Railway’s directorate for construction of the Beskyd tunnel. Out of the cross-passage’s total length of 21 meters, 16 meters have been completed. Builders will cut through the remaining five meters of rock in the next two weeks, after which they will begin construction of the third cross-passage.

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.