Bangalore Metro – January 2017 Phase 1 Update

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) yesterday made their January 2017 newsletter available for everyone to see the progress made on the 42.3 km Phase 1 project of which roughly 12 kms of the Green Line is yet to open up for commercial services. Due to the NYE holiday, the data and images in this edition were recorded on January 2, 2017 and I’d recommend everyone to check it out, as the level of detail provided for both Phase 1 & 2 is staggering.

As always, let’s first take a look at some new snaps of the underground section from the newsletter & elsewhere, and then dive into analyzing the data for Phase 1.

Chickpet Station – Photo Copyright: ToI

Chickpet Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Another set of recent images can be viewed here: [Pics] Bangalore Metro’s Chickpet Station – January 2017

Concourse level of KR Market Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Track welding work inside the northbound tunnel – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Purple line –  Reach 1 connecting Baiyyappanahalli – MG Road stations opened in October 2011 followed by Reach 2 connecting Mysore Road – Magadi Road stations in November 2015. Tunneling work on the line’s 4.8 km underground section which connects Reach 1 with Reach 2, between Magadi Road – MG Road, started in May 2011 and got completed in March 2014 by the CEC-CICI JV. Following that, trial runs began in November 2015. The line was finally inaugurated on April 29 2016 and commercial operations started the next day at 6 am. A comprehensive history of the underground section from bidding to construction to testing can be viewed here.

Green line – The 12.4 km Nagasandra – Sampige Road section opened up in stages on March 1, 2014 and May 1, 2015. The line’s pending 12 km section consists of 2 distinct sections – (1) a 4 km underground section from Sampige Road Station to National College Station with 3 stations under construction by the Coastal-TTS JV, and (2) an 8 km elevated section from the National College Station to the Yelachenahalli Station with 8 stations built by NCC, IVRCL – CR 18 JV, L&T and JMC.

The Green line’s tunnels from the North Ramp (near Sampige Road station) to the South Ramp (near National College station) were constructed by a JV of Coastal – TTS with some help from the Robbins Company and the CEC-CICI JV. The line’s final breakthrough by TBM Krishna took place at the Majestic Station on September 23, 2016. In late-November 2016, BMRCL pulled a train through the up-line tunnel and on November 30 commenced trial runs between the long completed National College Station – Yelachenahalli section.

Pending section of the Green Line – view Bangalore Metro map & information

Current Status

For those unaware, the BMRCL and Karnataka Government are publicly targeting to open the Sampige Road – Yelachenahalli section in April 2017, but internally are working towards meeting another deadline.

As seen in the images above, the Chickpet and KR Market Stations are nowhere near completion and remain among the biggest bottlenecks right now. Going forward, when the track-work and sub-system installation are complete in the coming months, pending RCC & interior finishing works here will prevent the line from opening. Here’s a progress update for the numerically inclined:

Chickpet Station

December January Target
Concourse (Sqm) 8792 9028 9267
Sidewall (Cum) 4495 4571 4788
Roof Slab (Sqm) 8428 8543 9565
Ancillary
Building (Cum)
1264 1310 1656

KR/City Market Station

December January Target
Concourse (Sqm) 9054 N/A 9157
Sidewall (Cum) 4483 4508 4629
Roof Slab (Sqm) 8799 8799 9361
Ancillary
Building (Cum)
970 1236 1613

Besides these stations, it’s important to mention that both the north and south shafts of Majestic Station have not yet been back-filled and covered. In the south-bound tunnel, track-work is complete and 3rd Rail installation for traction has started. In the north-bound tunnel, the track slab/plinth is still being laid and a balance of “about 2200 m of track” work is pending. 3rd rail installation here has not yet begun.

In a recent report by the Bangalore Mirror, the BMRCL’s MD indicates “trial run on the underground stretch will start by next week” and they’re determined to start operations in April 2017. If this smoke and mirrors event transpires, it’s fairly certain a train will be operated on the manual mode only through the south-bound tunnel and never come back for months until all subsystems (electric, signalling, telecom) are installed throughout both tunnels. After all, without those sub-systems in place or a link to the operations control centre, what are they going to test or try out? Think about it.

Similar hastily conducted media events to generate buzz for establishing a sham milestone took place for the Delhi Metro’s Pink and Violet lines in May & August 2016, and the DMRC is currently nowhere close to starting integrated end to end trial runs due to pending civil work. After this event takes place in Bangalore and we approach April, be ready for some some creative excuses. Here are a couple I can think of:

  1. All station work is complete and only some testing work is pending. We’ll open soon.
  2. Testing work is complete. We’ve invited the CMRS and suggested some dates, but have not heard back. We give importance to passenger safety and cannot ever compromise on that.

Fun Fact – Back in November 2015, the BMRCL didn’t even spare the CMRS and blamed it for delays in opening Reach 2. This prompted a hilarious clarification by the CMRS.

Overall, the Green Line’s pending 12 km section is heading towards a 2018 opening. If the BMRCL opens half-complete stations like it did on the Purple Line’s underground section, then a Q4 2017 opening is possible.

What are your thoughts? Any news/data points you’d like to bring to my attention?

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

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

33 Responses to "Bangalore Metro – January 2017 Phase 1 Update"

  1. Muthu says:

    Another excuse would be

    1. We have invited the PM/CM/President,etc.etc. for inauguration and we are waiting for a date. Just like they did on the E-W line, the took more than a month after the CRS gave approval 🙂
    2. Or they will blame the contractors for delaying
    3. Or the TBM took too long to dismantle because of unknown reasons

    Anyway, it is a long lost hope on BMRCL and they better quickly sack the MD after PH1 is done and have some one else who has only BMRCL on his plate as the PH2 MD.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      The MD’s replacement is something I’d want as well. It’s quite messed up that a complex engineering project like this is being led by a non-technical person who holds dual positions and cannot dedicate 100% of his time here.

      Reply
      • Sajjan says:

        Can you tell me the background of DMRC and LMRC’s MDs?

        Reply
        • TMRG says:

          Both have similar backgrounds:

          Mangu Singh: Joined DMRC as a Chief Engineer > Chief Project Manager > Executive Director > Director (works) > DMRC MD

          Keshav Kumar: Joined DMRC as a Chief Project Manager > Executive Director > Director (Project and Planning) > Project Director (Rail) of Hancock Coal > LMRC MD

          They worked alongside to make Phase 2 successful, but after Mangu Singh was appointed as DMRC’s MD in 2012, Keshav Kumar left the organization and joined an Australian project. In 2014 he was offered to become LMRC’s MD and he’s done a fab job. No unnecessary media announcements, no BS. As and when something gets done, it gets reported appropriately.

          Reply
    • Ramasubramaniam Sulur Iyengar says:

      Let them bring anyone except that old MD Mr. Sivasailam back. He was when compared to the current even more inefficient.

      Reply
  2. Ram says:

    Bmrcl management needs to be held accountable. There is zero sense of urgency. Millions suffer everyday in B’lore in Pollution, traffic chaos & time spent to go from PT a to b.
    Metro p1&p2 needs to happen on WAR Footing so it helps alleviate dailysuffering of millions

    Reply
  3. Sudarshan says:

    i’m looking forward to the media circus 😀

    Reply
  4. Mayur S says:

    Atleast it will be helpful if they open Puttenahalli to National College stretch……..So that lot of commuters around these areas in Kanakpura road and banashankari can reach market easily…

    Reply
  5. Nachiketa says:

    There is another structure that is half complete in phase 1 of the Bangalore metro. The overbridge connecting the City railway station and the metro station at the railway station. Currently, passengers have to exit the underground metro station and walk on a mud path that leads to the railway station foot overbridge to reach the platforms. Why is this important link left incomplete? An updates on this?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      No update on that. It was supposed to be ready in the summer, but ran into issues with the SWR who are yet to construct their portion of the FOB.

      Reply
    • Sameer Patil says:

      All this bullshitting will leave citizens in pain. God knows whats in store with E-city and Silk Board-KR puram line

      Reply
  6. Krishnan says:

    Hi TMRG

    If I understood this correctly then BMRCL will run that battery train after one week huge media event.
    But the actual launch /opening for public will happen in 2018.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, they won’t utilize a battery powered loco. They’ll finish 3rd rail installation on the southbound tunnel and power it up temporarily for the event. Once the event is over and everyone goes home, it’ll be shut off so that the contractors can perform other installation tasks.

      On another note, I’m fairly certain the media will be invited only to the Majestic Station and not be taken anywhere else.

      Reply
  7. Santhosh Hugar says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive analysis. Actually, we are looking forward for your analysis article every month more than BMRCL’s newsletter. It’s fairly clear that April 2017 opening is impossible. However, some media still believes BMRCL and telecast wrong news in media misleading the public.

    What exactly is the reason behind BMRCL’s delays ? Why does it seem like they are not hurrying up ? It always looks like they are also working hard but not in right direction. What according to you is not right in BMRCL ?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, here’s the deal. The cause of delays (during the tunneling phase) are far behind us. The world over, it is perfectly fine for a metro line to open 12-18 months after a final TBM breakthrough has been made as certain things need to be in place, need to look good, need to be tested, need to be certified etc.

      The issue lies with the BMRCL announcing weird unrealistic deadlines which they cannot meet themselves. Work wise, things inside the underground section barring Chickpet Station are progressing just fine and I do not consider the project to be experiencing any further “delays”. BMRCL needs to learn a thing or two from Delhi or Lucknow by shutting up, stop offering new deadlines and only interacting with the media when the project is close to completion. Unfortunately, the people of this city will continue to be lied to, as they’ve also started announcing they’ll open R2A/B, R3C, R4B and R5 in mid 2019.

      Reply
  8. Shripad says:

    Hi,

    Is BMRC conducting trial run on both the tracks on elevated section with 3rd rail powered up ? There is no word on BMRC on status of that trial run (like how many hours/km of trial run done and how much remaining).
    The best they can do is to throw open that section by April/May 2017 and complete section by Jan 2018, just before the announcement of state Assembly election.
    Yesterday I saw a state gov ad (old one though) pasted on BMTC bus, promising to complete 42km ph1 by March end. Couldnot control my laughter (about to lose the balance of my two wheeler !!!).

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Yes, proper integrated testing of the elevated section, with all sub-systems powered up & live started on last Wednesday. Data on the train’s performance, interaction with the track and sub-systems is going to be sent to one of Alstom’s offices in France.

      Reply
  9. Ram says:

    It’s quite possible that CM could try to cover his ass in March by announcing a new MD and transferring the present MD. 2018 Karnataka goes to polls. So if they just come up with another excuse and move the date from April to say July, there will be lot of angry people this time.
    Geology/Weather/ Latitude/Longitude of Bangalore Safety, Tree cutting, Land acquisition CM/VIP not available for inauguration are excuses.
    Besides Bangalore metro construction cannot be compared with Delhi metro or Lucknow metro. It’s unique & inevitably we have to put up with these delays.

    Reply
  10. Madhu says:

    Will BMRC open the Sampige Road, Mantri mall – Majestic stretch by April? Last year High court of karnataka had enquired about opening this stretch to BMRC..
    What is your opinion?

    Reply
  11. Harish J says:

    After missing many deadlines, am very much sure, we will not see it run in 2017.

    Reply
  12. Prasanna says:

    In the scenario that underground tracks, electrification, signalling etc (everything required to run the metro train) complete before the underground stations (Chikpet and KR Market), then is there a possibility to run the trains end to end but without stopping them at Chikpet and KR Market?
    It used to so happen in London sometimes that certain stations are closed for maintenance but the trains run along the line without stopping at such stations.
    I’m only being too optimistic 🙂

    Reply
  13. Mohan says:

    Unfortunately, there is no accountability in Govt. Cost and time overun doesn’t end in people losing jobs. People just get transferred n continue making merry.

    Competent technical people who brook no nonsense, should be at the helm. One cannot have Bureaucrats heading such agencies. Dr. Sreedharan has shown the way in Konkan Railways n Delhi Metro, he did make some concrete suggestions for Namma Metro & KIAL link. BMCRL was too arrogant to heed his advice.

    Robust planning, coordinaton with concerned Dept’s is essential. Lazy people in other agencies who wake up @ last minute or ‘start digging when fire is on’ have to be shown door mercilessly.

    Only then can Bangaloreans hope to have early access to Metro covering most part of the city. We are still hoping for Ph-1 to be completed, when Ph-2 should have been over, and Ph-3 planning should have been underway.

    Reply
  14. Balaji v says:

    Many people are awaiting for metro for travelling to office ..it saves a lot of energy pollution traffic jams.. but these guys r keep postponing dates.no concern about public …..

    Reply
  15. KRISHNAN says:

    Metro Phase-2 will be ready only by 2022
    —————————————————-
    http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2017/jan/12/metro-phase-2-will-be-ready-only-by-2022-1558830.html

    “Pushing the deadline of Metro Phase-2 by two years, Chief Engineer of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd N P Sharma said the 72.1 km section would be completed by 2022.”

    He predicted a dramatic increase in the ridership on Phase-1. “The occupancy figures in this Phase are set to touch 8 lakh and then 12 lakh in future after feeder buses, BMTC connectivity are all in place,”

    Reply
    • KRISHNAN says:

      This report is from Indian express “Published: 12th January 2017 “. Considering the previous experience of underground stretch of Phase 1 , I feel 2025 is more realistic estimate.Other elevated tracks which are extension of Phase 1 may happen much sooner.

      Reply
    • Kiran says:

      Before starting phase 2, the deadline is pushed.

      I am sure we will not See phase 2 fully complete and operational for next twenty years.

      In my estimation, phase two metro connection will be complete only by 2030.

      LOL, what ever you do this is the earliest..

      Reply
  16. Sanjay says:

    The main culprit is MD and his team. Most unfit person for this job. Keep on lying and misleading people. state government is also keeping a blind eye. fire this lazy bunch and bring some competent people .. they will get it going …fast

    Reply
  17. Sanjay says:

    have seen UG sections recently… sit tight guys.. they are not going to finish this first phase before November.. they missed the deadline last year on November 1st … now they are aiming it for same date.. this year… :/

    Reply
  18. Nagaraj Nayak says:

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Metro-North-South-corridor-trials-by-February-10/article17033424.ece

    Interesting to hear Trials on the entire underground section between Sampige Road and National College will begin by February 10, BMRCL claims.

    Reply
  19. Nishant says:

    This sucks!!!
    If once can take the average then these guys run a pathetic project. They should have atleast connected sampige to majestic by this time.

    Reply

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