Engineering geological considerations for the ‘Old’ Beacon Hill Railway Tunnel, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Published:January 01, 2019
Alexander D. Mackay, 2019. "Engineering geological considerations for the ‘Old’ Beacon Hill Railway Tunnel, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region", Military Aspects of Geology: Fortification, Excavation and Terrain Evaluation, E.P.F. Rose, J. Ehlen, U. L. Lawrence
Download citation file:
The ‘Old’ Beacon Hill Tunnel was constructed through granite from 1906 to 1910 as part of the Kowloon Canton Railway in the then British colony of Hong Kong. It was the first railway tunnel to be constructed in this region and, at 2.2 km long, longer than any Chinese railway tunnel. Prior to Japanese occupation in December 1941, the British detonated charges to collapse the tunnel to deny its use as an invasion route. Following Japanese defeat in 1945 and return to British government, the tunnel was re-excavated and the damaged sections were supported using steel arches based on Terzaghi’s rock mass classification system, which uses geological descriptions to classify loading onto arched tunnel supports. The railway was subsequently realigned during the 1980s and placed in a new tunnel running alongside and west of the ‘Old’ Beacon Hill Tunnel, which was converted to accommodate a pipeline connecting gas supplies. Ground investigations implemented after return of the territory to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997 established that groundwater flow and tunnel stability were influenced by a dyke within the granite, joint set orientation, faulting and weathering as well as the wartime detonations.
Figures & Tables
Military Aspects of Geology: Fortification, Excavation and Terrain Evaluation
This book complements the Geological Society’s Special Publication 362: Military Aspects of Hydrogeology. Generated under the auspices of the Society’s History of Geology and Engineering Groups, it contains papers from authors in the UK, USA, Germany and Austria. Substantial papers describe some innovative engineering activities, influenced by geology, undertaken by the armed forces of the opposing nations in World War I. These activities were reactivated and developed in World War II. Examples include trenching from World War I, tunnelling and quarrying from both wars, and the use of geologists to aid German coastal fortification and Allied aerial photographic interpretation in World War II. The extensive introduction and other chapters reveal that ‘military geology’ has a longer history. These chapters relate to pre-twentieth century coastal fortification in the UK and the USA; conflict in the American Civil War; long-term ‘going’ assessments for German forces; tunnel repair after wartime route denial in Hong Kong; and tunnel detection after recent insurgent improvisation in Iraq.