History of Chennai Metro’s Koyambedu – Nehru Park Section

With less than 24 hours to go for the inauguration of Chennai Metro’s 8 km Koyambedu – Nehru Park underground section of the 22 km Green Line, here’s a post with some high level information on the line’s history with a bunch of images. I’ve divided its timeline up into 3 distinct periods which’ll help demonstrate how much time was spent on each activity.

This section was originally scheduled to open in April 2015 and consists of two civil packages:

UAA-04 – Shenoy Nagar – Egmore (4.47 km with about 3,350m twin tunnels)
UAA-05 – Thirumangalam Ramp – Shenoy Nagar (4.90 km with about 3,370m twin tunnels)

Koyambedu – Nehru Park section of Chennai’s Green Line – view Chennai metro map & information

Pre-Tunneling Period (2009-2011)

September 2009 – Chennai Metro Rail Ltd invited global bids for all 5 underground packages of Phase 1 (UAA-01 through UAA-05)

December 2010 – Package UAA-04 (Shenoy Nagar – Egmore) was awarded to L&T-SUCG JV with a contract value of Rs. 930.80 crores, while Package UAA-05 was awarded to the Afcons–Transtonnelstroy JV with a contract value of Rs. 1031.00 crores.

Tunneling Period (2011-2015)

• For UAA-04, L&T-SUCG JV procured & deployed 3 TBMs to make 6 breakthroughs (+2 breakthroughs on the upcoming Nehru Park – Egmore section):
TBM-1: STEC
TBM-2: STEC
TBM-3: Hitachi
All 3 were launched one after the other in mid-2013 in different directions from their launch shaft at Pachaiyappa’s College.

• For UAA-05, Afcons–Transtonnelstroy JV procured & deployed 2 TBMs to make 8 breakthroughs:
TBM-1: Herrenknecht (S718)
TBM-2: Herrenknecht (S717)
Both were launched one after the other in January and March 2013 from their launch shaft at Shenoy Nagar towards the Thirumangalam Ramp.

Timeline:

• May 30, 2013 – Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM-1 arrived at Anna Nagar East from Shenoy Nagar

• September 21, 2013 – Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM-2 arrived at Anna Nagar East from Shenoy Nagar

• January 21, 2014 – Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM-1 arrived at Anna Nagar Tower from Anna Nagar East:

Photo Copyright: Alok Kumar Jha

Photo Copyright: Ram Kumar

• February 19, 2014 – Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM-2 arrived at Anna Nagar Tower from Anna Nagar East:

Photo Copyright: Shashi Pratap

• June 24, 2014 – L&T-SUCG JV’s TBM-3 arrived at Kilpauk from Pachaiyappa’s College:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• July 15, 2014 – Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM-1 arrived at Thirumangalam from Anna Nagar Tower:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• July 19, 2014 – L&T-SUCG JV’s TBM-2 arrived at Kilpauk from Pachaiyappa’s College:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• August 25, 2014– Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM 2 arrived at Thirumangalam from Anna Nagar Tower:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• October 24, 2014 – Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM-1 arrived at the Thirumangalam Ramp from Thirumangalam Station:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• November 1, 2014 – L&T-SUCG JV’s TBM-1 arrived at Shenoy Nagar from Pachaiyappa’s College:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• December 16, 2014 – Final TBM breakthrough of UAA-05 by Afcons-TTS JV’s TBM-2 at the Thirumangalam Ramp from Thirumangalam Station:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• February 2, 2015 – L&T-SUCG JV’s TBM-3 arrived at Nehru Park from Kilpauk:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

•February 2, 2015 – L&T-SUCG JV’s TBM-2 arrived at Shenoy Nagar from  Pachaiyappa’s College:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

• April 21, 2015 – Final TBM breakthrough of UAA-04 by L&T-SUCG JV’s TBM-1 at Nehru Park from Kilpauk:

Photo Copyright: CMRL

Photo Copyright: CMRL

Post-Tunneling Period (2015-2017)

Track-laying work started at the Thirumangalam Ramp in December 2014 and Platform Screen Door (PSD) installation in April 2016.

On the train testing side of things – in October 2015, CMRL operated an OHE Wagon up to Anna Nagar Tower Station after electrification on a 2 km section was completed. CMRL launched trial runs between Koyambedu & Anna Nagar East stations in April 2016, extended them to Shenoy Nagar in July 2016 and finally to Nehru Park in October 2016. The line was certified fit for commercial operations by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) in mid-April after a 2-day safety inspection on April 12-13.

Did I miss out on anything? Looking forward to the line’s inauguration at 10 am tomorrow! 😀

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

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

8 Responses to "History of Chennai Metro’s Koyambedu – Nehru Park Section"

  1. Aditya says:

    Hey, Do write a similar post about the heritge line when it opens next month..It will be good to read considering that a lot has happened for the completion of that line

    Reply
  2. Senthil says:

    Awesome recap! Also, point out if there is any genuine reason for tunneling delay, such as hard rock or loose soil etc.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Thanks! From what I know, all TBMs used for this section were configured for soft ground/soil. Tunneling related delays were minimal – I think the pre-tunneling (resource & TBM mobilization) & post-tunneling period dragged the project on for a little longer than it should have.

      Reply
  3. Bhanu says:

    What is the procurement cost for a single TBM? I feel like if the contractors used double the number of TBMs they could have probably finished it in time but I guess the cost factor prevents that. Do they mention how many TBMs are they planning to use while bidding for a stretch?

    So lets assume during bidding stage another contractor bids for the same stretch but it plans to use double the number of TBMs (without knowing how many TBMs are their competitors gonna deploy) so their bid will be higher and will not get chosen but then there will be a higher probability of them finishing the project in time. So how’s the decision made then? Do they always choose the lower bid or they consider the time factor too?

    While awarding the contract does the respective metro rail authority specify the number of TBMs that should be used or any limit is imposed on the number of TBMs to be used?

    Also, is there a fine for not completing the work in time?

    I know, stupid questions but just curious.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, there are no stupid questions!

      Metro operators indeed specify the minimum number, type and quality (new/refurbished) TBMs at the time of bidding which the contractor must abide by. Contractors can always deploy more TBMs to finish work before time, but there’s usually no incentive to do so.

      A new 6.6 dia EPB TBM costs anywhere from Rs. 30-50 crores, and really depends on its configuration (single shield, multi-shield, slurry-shield), thrust and brand. The cost of leasing one is typically around Rs. 80 lakh-1 crore per month.

      I haven’t heard of any fines ever being imposed. Operators don’t go down that route as doing so during the course of construction might put that entire section on-hold.

      Reply
  4. Muthu says:

    Hi TMRG,

    Given you have all the dates of launch and end, can you put together a quick summary of the average tunneling speed (in metres/week or metres/month) in various metro projects in India, excluding extended periods of repair and damage?

    Reply

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