Bedecked in giant Panda livery, the 3,000t machine ‘Jinxiu’ rolled off the production line in Changsha, Southwest Hunan Province on 10 July and is ready to be put into operation.

At 135m long, the machine will bore through the complex geology of the Jinxiu Tunnel which passes beneath the city of Chengdu and forms part of the Chengdu-Zigong high-speed rail project – the first high-speed railway with a top speed of 350km/hour in the neighbouring Sichuan province.