History of Bangalore Metro’s MG Road – Magadi Road Section

With only one day to go for the inauguration of Bangalore Metro’s 4.8 km underground section between MG Road and Magadi Road, let’s take a comprehensive look back at this section’s timeline & history with a bunch of images and videos!

This section is officially known as UG-2 and was originally scheduled to open in September 2011. I’ve divided its timeline up into 3 distinct periods which allows us to understand how much time was spent on each task and where delays arose. As always, if you spot any discrepancy below, then please leave a comment and I’ll rectify after verifying.

Location of Cubbon Park Metro station

Bangalore Metro’s UG-2 – view Bangalore Metro map & information

BangaloreMetroAfter

Bangalore’s post-inauguration 30.3 km metro network

Pre-Tunneling Period (2008-2011)

Bids for the UG-2 section were invited in February 2008 with an original schedule of starting operations in September 2011. The contract included part-design & construction of 2 ramps, 12 tunnel sections and 4 stations at City Railway Station, Sir. M Visveshwaraya (Central College), Dr. BR Ambedkar (Vidhana Soudha) & Cubbon Park. The Majestic station was earlier a part of contract UG-1, but was later hived off into a separate contract of its own which got awarded to the Coastal-GYT JV in November 2011.

Here’s a high level view of how things played out with UG-2:

February 2008 – BMRCL invites global bids for its design & construction.
May 2008 – Pre-bid meeting held with 10 interested consortia/JVs.
September 2008 – 7 consortia qualify in the technical evaluation phase.
January 2009 –  IISc publishes a geohydrological study on the route’s geology.
July 2009 – BMRCL opens financial bids to reveal the CEC-SOMA-CICI JV as the lowest bidder.
November 2009 – BMRCL & its Detailed Design Consultant redesign the underground portion on the insistence of the state government & Karnataka High Court to circumvent Cubbon Park. This leads to an increase of the twin tunnels’ length which is approved by the HC in September 2010.
December 2009 – BMRCL approves appointment of the CEC-SOMA-CICI JV after multiple rounds of negotiations over the preceding months to bring its cost down. Notice is sent to the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) for their approval.
• March 2010 – JICA approves & BMRCL awards tunneling contract to the CEC-SOMA-CICI JV.

Final Contract Value: Rs. 995.20 crore ; Agreement signed on March 10, 2010.

Tunneling Period (2011-2014)

The CEC-SOMA-CICI JV team carried out tunneling works using 3 Tunneling Boring Machines (TBMs) and a New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) machine. All stations were built using the standard cut & cover method.

TBM Helen – a Hitachi Zosen Slurry Shield Machine which tunneled from Majestic → Sir. M Visveshwaraya → Vidhana Soudha → Cubbon Park. It was then relaunched from Majestic → City Railway Station → Majestic

TBM Helen - Photo Copyright: Tunnel Talk

TBM Helen – Photo Copyright: Tunnel Talk

TBM Margarita – a Hitachi Zosen Slurry Shield Machine which tunneled parallel to TBM Helen from Majestic → Sir. M Visveshwaraya → Vidhana Soudha → Cubbon Park.

TBM Margarita - Photo Copyright: Tunnel Talk

TBM Margarita – Photo Copyright: Tunnel Talk

Unnamed TBM 3 – an Earth Pressure Balance Machine which tunneled from the East Ramp → Cubbon Park → East Ramp

NATM Machine – Excavated from the West Ramp → City Railway Station → West Ramp

 

May 20 2011: TBM Helen is commissioned and starts tunneling from Kempegowda (Majestic) station towards Sir. M Visveshwaraya. Here’s a video produced by CEC-SOMA-CICI’s team which shows Helen’s parts being lowered into the shaft and much more:

Now here’s a look at all 10 TBM breakthroughs on this stretch:

1. February 27 2012 – 1st breakthrough by TBM Helen at Sir. M Visveshwaraya from Majestic (925m)
TBM Helen at Sir M. Visveshrua - Photo Copyright: Anupam Kumar

TBM Helen at Sir. M Visveshwaraya station – Photo Copyright: Anupam Kumar

2. March 8 2012  – 1st breakthrough by TBM Margarita at Sir. M Visveshwaraya from Majestic (925m)
TBM Margarita at Photo Copyright: Prajavani

TBM Margarita at Sir. M Visveshwaraya station – Photo Copyright: Prajavani

3. September 19 2012 – 1st breakthrough by TBM 3 at East Ramp from Cubbon Park (192m)
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TBM 3 at East Ramp – Photo Copyright: The Hindu

4. December 26 2012 – 2nd breakthrough by TBM Helen at Vidhana Soudha from Sir. M Visveshwaraya (725m)

 

5. February 20 2013 – 2nd breakthrough by TBM Margarita at Vidhana Soudha from Sir. M Visveshwaraya (729m). The banner incorrectly describes it as the fourth.
TBM Margarita at Photo Copyright: BMRCL

TBM Margarita at Vidhana Soudha – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

6. March 28 2013 – 2nd breakthrough by TBM 3 at Cubbon Park from East Ramp (194m)
TBM 3 at Cubbon Park - Photo Copyright: MD Namma Metro

TBM 3 at Cubbon Park – Photo Copyright: MD Namma Metro

7. July 25 2013 – 3rd breakthrough by TBM Helen at Cubbon Park from Vidhana Soudha (458m)
TBM Helen at Cubbon Park - Photo Copyright: MD Namma Metro

TBM Helen at Cubbon Park – Photo Copyright: MD Namma Metro

8. September 25 2013 – 3rd breakthrough by TBM Margarita at Cubbon Park from Vidhana Soudha (460m)


9. 
January 8 2014 – 4th breakthrough by TBM Helen at City Railway Station from Majestic (229m)
TBM Helen at City Railway station - Photo Copyright: Adarsh Ratan

TBM Helen at City Railway station – Photo Copyright: Adarsh Ratan

10. March 17 2014 – 5th & final breakthrough by TBM Helen at Majestic from City Railway Station (229m)
TBM Helen at Majestic station - Photo Copyright: Adarsh Ratan

TBM Helen at Majestic station – Photo Copyright: Adarsh Ratan

Post-Tunneling Period (2014-2016)

March 13 2015 – BMRCL sends a train through the westbound tunnel which takes 4 minutes to reach Cubbon Park from MG Road. The train is then pulled through the rest of the corridor by a self propelled locomotive and returns back through the same tunnel.

BangaloreMetroTrain

Workers & visitors welcome the 1st train to Cubbon Park – Photo Copyright: New Indian Express

October 2015 – Track-work and electrification work is completed.
• November 11 2015 – BMRCL begins trial runs on the entire stretch.
November 18 2015 – BMRCL begins oscillation trials.
December 2015 – Signalling work is completed.
March 11 2016 – BMRCL receives Schedule of Dimension (SoD) approval from Railway Board.
March 15 2016 – K.J. George inspects the progress of 3 stations (view images)
• March 23 2016 – BMRCL submits application to CMRS for mandatory safety inspection.
April 5 2016 – CMRS begins safety inspection of the stretch (see images) which lasts 2 days.

BangaloreCMRS9

CMRS inspection – Photo Copyright: BMRCL O&M Wing

April 8 2016 – CMRS gives clearance to the BMRCL with a list of suggestions.
April 19 2016 – Karnataka’s Fire Department conducts a mock drill at the City Railway station.
April 24 2016 – BMRCL announces inauguration and commercial start dates.
April 26 2016 – K.J. George inspects the progress of Cubbon Park station (view images)

April 29 2016 – Inauguration scheduled at Vidhana Soudha station at 6 pm (view advt.)
April 30 2016 – Commercial operations to start from either end of the 18.1 km line at 6 am. BMRCL plans to run 15 trains at a frequency of 10 minutes in the initial stages. The line’s fare chart can be viewed here.

Did I miss out on anything? 😀 Looking forward to the inauguration now!

For more updates & images, check out the Bangalore section of The Metro Rail Guy!

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

15 Responses to "History of Bangalore Metro’s MG Road – Magadi Road Section"

  1. Karthik Prasad says:

    I love you, TMRG. I seriously do. Please keep posting 🙂

    Reply
  2. Girish H M says:

    You have left out the station works, which is equally important as tunnel. You could briefed the station details parallel along with the tunnel.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, you’re right and to be honest, I do not find station works (base slab, roof slab etc) to be exciting or a historic milestone. I think it can be assumed that after all 4 tunnels leading to & from were built to each station, they started the HVAC and civil work to cover the stations up. Architectural finishing works I believe only started in mid 2015.

      Reply
  3. Mayur says:

    So nice of you TMG

    Reply
  4. shubangi says:

    Great job, thanks for the effort. It is apparent that after the final breakthrough, we had to wait more than a year for start of commercial operations. Do you think the same story is going to be repeated on the green line too as both the TBMs on that line are inching towards their final breakthroughs currently.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Thanks! I can’t guess, but I do hope they quickly wrap up track-work this time. Instead of 2 years, I hope they take a year or less from the final breakthrough. Surprisingly the BMRCL’s newsletter makes no mention of track-work inside the tunnel bored by TBM Margarita (Majestic-Sampige Road). Hopefully it’s underway.

      Reply
  5. shubangi says:

    Actually, a small correction to my earlier post. It has been a little over 2 years for start of commercial operations since the final breakthrough by TBM Helen.

    Reply
  6. Kamal says:

    Can you share more details about track work , trial runs and Station construction.

    Reply
  7. Srikanth says:

    Great work on documenting this. This is pages of history, this should be preserved.

    Reply
  8. Praveen says:

    TMRG-HATS OFF to you. awesome consolidation of info.

    Reply
  9. Aishwarya says:

    Hi TMRG,

    Could you please update the status of BYPH to WFD Section.
    Information such as pillars and station work state or proposed dates and pictures would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Reply

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