The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) yesterday made their January 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. Due to the NYE holiday, the data and images in this edition were recorded on January 2, 2017 and I’d recommend everyone to check it out, as the level of detail provided for both Phase 1 & 2 is staggering.
As always, let’s first take a look at some new snaps of the underground section from the newsletter & elsewhere, and then dive into analyzing the data for Phase 1.
Another set of recent images can be viewed here: [Pics] Bangalore Metro’s Chickpet Station – January 2017
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 seen in the images above, the Chickpet and KR Market Stations are nowhere near completion and remain among the biggest bottlenecks right now. Going forward, when the track-work and sub-system installation are complete in the coming months, pending RCC & interior finishing works here will prevent the line from opening. Here’s a progress update for the numerically inclined:
|Roof Slab (Sqm)||8428||8543||9565|
KR/City Market Station
|Roof Slab (Sqm)||8799||8799||9361|
Besides these stations, it’s important to mention that both the north and south shafts of Majestic Station have not yet been back-filled and covered. In the south-bound tunnel, track-work is complete and 3rd Rail installation for traction has started. In the north-bound tunnel, the track slab/plinth is still being laid and a balance of “about 2200 m of track” work is pending. 3rd rail installation here has not yet begun.
In a recent report by the Bangalore Mirror, the BMRCL’s MD indicates “trial run on the underground stretch will start by next week” and they’re determined to start operations in April 2017. If this smoke and mirrors event transpires, it’s fairly certain a train will be operated on the manual mode only through the south-bound tunnel and never come back for months until all subsystems (electric, signalling, telecom) are installed throughout both tunnels. After all, without those sub-systems in place or a link to the operations control centre, what are they going to test or try out? Think about it.
Similar hastily conducted media events to generate buzz for establishing a sham milestone took place for the Delhi Metro’s Pink and Violet lines in May & August 2016, and the DMRC is currently nowhere close to starting integrated end to end trial runs due to pending civil work. After this event takes place in Bangalore and we approach April, be ready for some some creative excuses. Here are a couple I can think of:
- All station work is complete and only some testing work is pending. We’ll open soon.
- Testing work is complete. We’ve invited the CMRS and suggested some dates, but have not heard back. We give importance to passenger safety and cannot ever compromise on that.
Fun Fact – Back in November 2015, the BMRCL didn’t even spare the CMRS and blamed it for delays in opening Reach 2. This prompted a hilarious clarification by the CMRS.
Overall, 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!