1st TBM Commissioned from Howrah Maidan for Kolkata’s Metro

Yesterday afternoon, the Afcons-Transtonnelstroy JV team commissioned their first Tunnel Boring Machine in Kolkata at the Howrah Maidan station! The S640 TBM called ‘Prerna’ will excavate and build the up-line tunnel from here to the Howrah Junction railway station for Kolkata Metro’s 16.34 km East-West line for which tunneling work had been on-hold for more than 3 years due to land acquisition issues in the Bowbazar-BBD Bagh area. The tunneling distance between both stations is roughly 550m and a breakthrough can be expected to take place in the last quarter of this year.

Note: At the time of writing this piece, Prerna has completed building 4 temporary rings.

Satellite view of Howrah Maidan station

Kolkata's East-West metro line

Map of Kolkata’s East-West metro line – View detailed Kolkata Metro information & map


TBM Prerna (S640) – Photo Copyright: Kurpila Raju Rao


1st segment of the 1st ring – Photo Copyright: Abhay Pandey


TBMs Rachna (S639) and Prerna (S640) – Photo Copyright: Abhay Pandey

A.K Mittal, Kolkata Metro’s new General Manager, who took over on April 15 also attended the event:

Photo Copyright: Metro Railway, Kolkata

Photo Copyright: Metro Railway, Kolkata

The cradle on which this TBM rests on within the shaft was lowered on January 8 after India’s Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the start of tunneling work. Following that, the contractor’s crew began lowering the TBM’s parts into the shaft in mid-February.

The segments which’ll form the twin tunnels on this section have been neatly stacked up at Howrah Junction and will now regularly be transported in batches overnight to Howrah Maidan. Here are some images I shared on Twitter a while back:

According to Suresh Prabhu’s keynote speech in January, the 9 km first phase of the line from Salt Lake Sector V to Sealdah is expected to be operational in June 2018 while the 7 km second phase from Sealdah to Howrah which includes this tunnel section will be operational by June 2019.

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


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

8 Responses to "1st TBM Commissioned from Howrah Maidan for Kolkata’s Metro"

  1. sonia basu says:

    As far as i am aware the length of the tunnel from Howrah Maidan station to Howrah station is 550 mtrs and from Howrah station to strand road across the river Hoogly is 530 mtrs excluding the length of the stations.

  2. sonia basu says:

    Hats off to the untiring effort of the entire east west metro team for the benefit of kolkata citizens.. Keep it up!

  3. Sandeep Singh says:

    Very nice

  4. Debasish says:

    This project was about to complete in 2012. Its too late. Wb govt just know how to do politics. They never complete or do not want to complete projects timely. India needs tough law to punish this corrupted peoples.

  5. sonia basu says:

    Of the kolkata east west metro elevated section of 5.77 km from Salt lake to Subhash Sarovar, a
    section of 365 mtrs of the viaduct at Duttabad was incomplete due to encroachment and apathy of the state goverment which led to a delay of six years. Work has now commenced at Duttabad where four piers are visible out of nine. Without this section trains could not have been started, because the depot is located at Salt lake for the entire strech.

  6. Ankit Singh says:

    Cutter fitting & Tbm mechanic

  7. sonia basu says:

    Work on the construction of the diaphragm wall at Dalhouise station of East West Metro located on the

    east bank of Laldighi has not started as yet due to delay in the shifting of tram track by the state

    government. Also much is not known about the construction of ventilation shaft at Strand Road for the

    underground section beneath the river hoogly.


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