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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Villagers concerned about sinking railway


11:11, March 17, 2012

WUHAN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- A section of new railway in central Hebei province that sank last week has got villagers and railway workers talking about its safety.

Some 7.2 km of track built to form part of the Wuhan-Yichang Railway sank on March 9 after rain battered the area, maintenance workers at the scene said.

"I doubt if the railway is safe since they have rebuilt the section again and again," said 75-year-old Zou Liurong from the Xingfu village.

The rails and sleepers in question have been removed from the site, in Haokou town in the city of Qianjiang.

"We are looking forward to the operation of the railway but have no idea of the problem. We do not know whether it is serious," said Dai Zhongxiao, a villager from the small settlement of Nanwan.

"Last year, we reinforced part of the track and this time we are pinning up the whole subsiding section," said a worker at the scene.

"We discovered the problem during the evaluation phase. Up to 3 mm of sinkage a month is considered normal, but many points of the track had sunken by more than that," said Sun Shengjie, deputy general manager of the China Railway 12th Bureau Group, responsible for the construction of the line.

Excessive sinking can lead to derailment, said experts on traffic engineering design.

Workers at the scene said the ground where the sinking section is located used to be a lake which dried up.

Building a viaduct can solve the problem, said Wang Mengshu, member of Chinese Academy of Engineering.

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