Express Rail Link (XRL), Hong Kong

Kong and Guangzhou to reduce the travelling time between the two cities from 90 to 48 minutes.


Bachy Soletanche Group Limited was part of the integrated consortium which was awarded Contract 811 A (Express Rail Link). The scope of works comprises the construction of a 300 metre long cut-and-cover tunnel in a dense urban environment.


Hong Kong


MTR Corporation Ltd


MTR Corporation Ltd

General contractor

Bachy Soletanche Group Limited – Laing O’Rourke

During the first phase, advanced utility and traffic diversion works were completed. In particular, a viaduct was completely dismantled and rebuilt at a different location. In the second phase, the geotechnical works which comprised, an excavation of a 240,000 cu. metre “box” of 30 deep metre, was carried out. The third and last phase, currently under way, consists in building the permanent reinforced concrete underground structure and a building to accommodate the mechanical and electrical rooms.

The main technical difficulty of the project lies with the crossing of the existing metro line. This imposes a very specific sequence of works and limits the allowable settlement and displacements. The existing line being founded on barrettes socketed into the rock, BSGL has proposed to re-use them to support the newly built structure. The load transfer from the old to the new structure – a very delicate operation.