A Pivotal tunnel on a Railway linking Dali to Lincang City in southwest China’s Yunnan Province was holed through on Tuesday, marking great progress of the mammoth project.

The Extra long Damaidi Tunnel, located in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, measures 11.65 kilometres in length.

Over the past more than 1,400 days since the start of the tunnel construction in 2015, construction workers have been striving to solve various tricky issues due to special geological conditions and extreme weather conditions in the region, including the existence of red beds with typical layered rocks, huge water inflow, and the highest ground temperature inside the tunnel of over 40 degrees Celsius.

A set of targeted measures were adopted in the process of construction, such as setting up an inclined shaft for discharging water and hauling ice blocks to cool down the tunnel.

As a Project on the Routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt & the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the 202 km-long Dali-Lincang Railway runs from Dali to Lincang City, with a designed speed of 160 kilometres per hour.

The Railway will pass through the Weishan Yi and Hui Autonomous County by crossing the Lancang River.

The Railway has the largest number of tunnels, accounting for 87 percent of the total length, with the longest being 14 kilometres.

Once completed, it will take only three hours and a half to travel from Dali to Lincang.