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.
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 Tunnel 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 Margarita – a Hitachi Zosen Slurry Shield Machine which tunneled parallel to TBM Helen from Majestic → Sir. M Visveshwaraya → Vidhana Soudha → Cubbon Park.
• 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
Now here’s a look at all 10 TBM breakthroughs on this stretch:
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)
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.
• 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.
• 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!