BMRCL Pulls Metro Train through Green Line’s New Tunnels

With track-work complete on the down-line tunnel of Bangalore Metro’s long-delayed 24.20 km Green Line, the BMRCL yesterday pulled a metro train using a battery powered locomotive (BPL) through its 4 km UG-1 underground section and out on to the 8 km Reach 4-4A viaduct’s pocket track at the National College Station.

The train departed Sampige Road Station at 4:30pm and took about 2 hours to traverse through the underground section connecting Sampige Road – Majestic – Chickpet – KR Market  – National College stations as the the crew had to stop its movement frequently to check for & remove physical infringements along the way.

NOTE: As per a senior BMRCL official, the city’s Development Minister will today (Sunday) flag off a visual inspection of the line and trial runs/testing will commence sometime in the following week.


Green Line’s sections in which Sampige Road – National College (4 km) is underground

The elevated section between National College – Yelachenahalli, where trial runs will commence next week, comprises of 2 sub-sections:

Reach 4 – National College to Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road – 4.1 km with stations at: National College, Lalbagh, South End Circle, Jayanagar & RV Road.

Reach 4A – Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road to Yelachenahalli – 3.9 km with stations at: Banashankari, JP Nagar & Yelachenahalli


Map of Bangalore Metro’s Reach 4 & 4A – view Bangalore Metro information


Battery powered locomotive (BPL) shunting the train through the underground section





Shot after the BPL was uncoupled at National College Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL


Train parked at National College Station – Photo Copyright: The Hindu


A similar exercise was conducted on the 18 km Purple Line’s tunnels between Cubbon Park and City Railway stations in March 2015. After all sub-systems were installed, integrated trial runs began in November 2015 and the line went on to start commercial operations in April 2016.

Coming back to the Green Line – with the train now stationed at National College, testing on the elevated section in south Bangalore can finally begin after a long wait. As operations on this section relied on the tunnel works to be completed, the BMRCL in 2015 entertained the idea of airlifting coaches onto its viaduct, like previously done in Delhi & Gurgaon, but finally decided not to do so due to logistical reasons.

The BMRCL will need 2-3 months to conduct trial runs and complete minor pending finishing works at the stations after which it’ll invite the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) to conduct a safety inspection. The BMRCL hasn’t revealed their actual game plan, but like the once standalone Reach 2 (Magadi Road-Mysore Road) section, I’m expecting the BMRCL to launch operations on Reach 4-4A by the new April 2017 Phase 1 deadline as a face saver since the underground section will need another 4-6 months to get ready for trial runs.

Nov 21 Update: The (unpredictable) BMRCL is now looking to open the entire line in one go. Here’s what the MD said in an interview to the Deccan Herald.

We will not approach the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety for the approval of the elevated and underground stretches separately

Keeping that in mind, the entire stretch is now heading for a late 2017 opening.

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


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

16 Responses to "BMRCL Pulls Metro Train through Green Line’s New Tunnels"

  1. Prutvi says:

    @tmrg bmrc newsletter plz
    And do u think deadline will be met on underground section ??

    • TMRG says:

      Hi, I explained in another post’s comments that this edition doesn’t contain anything noteworthy, so I’ll be skipping over it. I’ll definitely write about it next month.

      No, the deadline will not be met. Far too much work pending at all stations including the shafts at Majestic & Chickpet which need to be covered – see my Twitter feed for images. Operations are another year away from starting.

  2. Sundar says:

    Warm welcome to namma metro to namma part of town. I saw its construction from Day 1 and am very happy to see the train stationed just minutes away. Hoping to hop on board soon 🙂

  3. Sabu says:

    TY for the post. Purple line opened 13 mos after 1st train went through its tunnels. So does that mean Green Line will start in a more or less same timeframe?

    • TMRG says:

      No, not necessarily. If it does, then it’ll be a pure coincidence. The tunnel section here is smaller (3.8 km vs 4.8km) and station works (esp at Majestic) are at a more advanced stage.

    • Ramasubramaniam Iyer says:

      Absolutely no. Here the extended line was ready and a train could not be airflifted as in Delhi. I think they should be able to throw open it in March 2016

  4. Abhishek says:

    Exactly like he says, “a face saver” which is practically useless…. They will then say 1 November 2017 it will be thrown open to public as part of Kannada rajyotsava…. Later on use it as a guinea pig in 2018 election… Typical Indian style games…

  5. Amish says:

    Can you elaborate ‘airlifting’? The coaches were dropped from helicopters or were they lifted by cranes? Either way it would be cool to watch. Anybody have a video of that?

  6. Manikantan S says:

    Mr. TMRG, are you sure, the UG route will not be inaugurated by April 2017?

    How useful will the opening of Reach 4-A be, without Reach-4 being used?

    Also please inform, if the line will be extended from Anjanapura to Art of Living Ashram? If not in the immediate future, when will it be? Can we expect it in another 10 years?

    I intend to buy a flat there,near the ashram.

    • Mithun R says:

      I guess TMRG is correct, they need another 3 months to dismantle the TBM lay the track signaling,electrification which will be completed by end of February( hopefully ), from there will take minimum 6months to test and get clearance certification for underground section, BMRCL mentioned clearly they would open the green line section at one go. So we would be luckey if green line starts before Nov 2017.

      • TMRG says:

        All TBMs are out, but you’re spot on and absolutely right about the scope of work pending and the time it’ll take. By promising to open in April, the BMRCL is taking everyone for a ride once again. Let’s not fall for that trap.

    • TMRG says:

      1) Yes – lots pending before trials on UG section start; the BMRCL will not admit to it
      2) 4 and 4A are both part of the elevated section and will open together. No point or benefit to open one and not the other since they’re at the same level of completion.
      3 No plans for that announced, but that would be the next logical extension of the line. Perhaps it’ll be taken up in Phase 4? I can’t offer advice or predict that.

  7. krishnan says:

    Basavanagudi, reach 4 and 4A trials to begin tuesday – NEWS9

  8. Aby k says:

    One of the worst implemented metro projects in the country,delayed ,fake promises ,over enthusiast statements,total crap


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