Over this weekend, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) made their February 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, as well as the 72 km Phase 2 project which is still in its infancy. There are 2 things I’d like to specifically point out before diving into Phase 1’s images and data:
- In addition to NCC & IL&FS, now Soma Infrastructure has also cast their first pier in front of RV College of Engineering for the 4.869 km Reach 2B of the Purple Line’s 8.814 km western extension to Challeghata. Segment launching activities to build its viaduct are expected to commence in the summer.
- I get asked about the 17 km Silk Board – KR Puram line’s status a lot. The BMRCL in November 2016 completed all the necessary leg-work for it and is waiting for the state government’s cabinet to approve its Detailed Project Report (DPR). There’s a good chance it’ll be done prior to the 2018 State Legislative Assembly elections, but we’ll have to wait and watch. Furthermore, we are yet to see an announcement or blurb on the exact sources of corporate funding. Without either of those, the tendering stage for its construction cannot begin.
Coming back to Phase 1, here are some new images:
In addition, I’d like everyone to take a good look at these images of Majestic Station’s South Shaft (view recent satellite imagery) which I shared yesterday on Twitter. This site is where TBMs Kaveri and Krishna made a breakthrough in June and September 2016, and its civil completion (followed by the back-filling of soil to cover it) is quite crucial. Workers are currently engaged in completing RCC work for the individual tunnels as well as laying the track-bed (slab/plinth) for the north-bound tunnel with the help of a concrete mixer. Once the track-bed is laid, then pending track-work for the north-bound line will be wrapped up.
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.
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 there’s clearly many more months to go before the line becomes ready, tested and certified fit for safe public use.
Here’s a progress update on the 2 new underground stations. Interestingly, some of the targets have changed this month (marked by ? below) and that puts a serious dent on the validity of the data reported in the previous editions of the newsletter.
|Roof Slab (Sqm)||8543||9028||9766?|
KR/City Market Station
|Roof Slab (Sqm)||8799||9071||9361|
In the south-bound tunnel, track-work is complete and 3rd Rail installation for traction is in progress. If and when the BMRCL holds their big media event to mark the start of trial runs, then do expect them to run a manually operated train utilizing this south-bound tunnel’s line as the track-bed is still being laid for the north-bound tunnel – see the images above as well as this blurb from the newsletter:
Out of 4040 m of track 3200 m of track slab have been completed. Balance of track work is in progress and will be completed shortly.
As some of you might have noticed, the BMRCL’s official Twitter handle has lately been extremely quiet about Phase 1’s progress, but busy in sharing Phase 2’s images. While some of those updates are brilliant in their own right, this strategy reflects their absolutely poor understanding of what the people of Bangalore need at this point of time and how they’re going to disappoint the locals once again in April.
As I said last month, like it or not – 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!