CRCHI Completes Factory Tests on 4 TBMs for Bangalore Metro Line-4

In November-December 2019, tunnel boring machine (TBM) manufacturer China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (CRCHI) completed factory acceptance tests (FAT) on four new slurry TBMs for building tunnels on the 13.885 km Dairy Circle – Nagawara underground section of Bangalore Metro’s 21.386 km Line-4 (Reach 6 / Pink Line) of the 72 km Phase 2 project.

The two machines tested in November have been named “Avni” (DZ669) for RT-02 and “Urja” (DZ670) for RT-03, and are currently in transit to the city with an ETA of January-end. The other two tested in December have been named “Lavi” for RT-02 & “Vindhya” for RT-03.

All four Ø6.65m slurry machines will be deployed by Larsen & Toubro to build twin tunnels exclusively on the line’s 2.755 km package RT-02 (Vellara Road Station – Shivaji Nagar) and 2.884 km package RT-03 (Shivajinagar Station – Tannery Road), which were awarded by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd in February 2019.

Here’s a general alignment of the line. The BMRCL in January 2018 decided to stick with their decision to place the Cantonment Station at Bamboo Bazaar (see location) instead of the original location which was closer to the railway station (as depicted below).

Underground section of Gottigere – Nagawara line – see exact alignment/location of the stations here
TBM DZ669 Avni – Photo Copyright: Abhilash Singh
Cutterhead in rotationPhoto Copyright: Abhilash Singh
TBM Urja
TBM Urja
TBM Vindhya – Photo Copyright: Abhilash Singh
Photo Copyright: Abhilash Singh
Photo Copyright: Abhilash Singh
Shivaji Nagar Station’s site in mid-December – Photo Copyright: Prajvaani (view large)

Historically, slurry machines have outperformed Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) machines in Bangalore. For Phase 1’s tunnels, the CEC-Soma-CICI JV deployed 1 Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) machine and 2 Hitachi Zosen slurry TBMs (Helen & Margarita) to rapidly build the Purple Line’ UG2 section. Later on, they were roped in by BMRCL for completing one tunnel (using Margarita) on the Green Line’s UG1 section where the Coastal-TTS JV’s 2 x Herrenknecht and 1 x SELI-Kawasaki EPB machines did a poor job battling the city’s difficult geology conditions comprising a mix of of soft soil, high groundwater levels, hard granite and large boulders.

For in-depth reading on the slurry machines’ performance, I’d suggest these two Tunnel Talk articles –
• 17 March 2014 – Hard rock beaten on Bangalore slurry drives
• 27 Jan 2016 – Slurry or EPB for conditions in Bangalore

Meanwhile, Package RT-01 (3.65 km, South Ramp at Dairy Circle to Vellara Junction) was awarded to Afcons Infrastructure in June 2019. BMRCL requires them to deploy 3 TBMs. Package RT-04 (4.591 km, Tannery Road to North Ramp at Nagawara) was awarded to ITD Cementation also in June 2019. BMRCL requires them to deploy 2 TBMs.

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


Hat Tip to Abhilash Singh

written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

10 Responses to "CRCHI Completes Factory Tests on 4 TBMs for Bangalore Metro Line-4"

  1. Rak says:

    Any idea why they’ve been named as such?

  2. Surya Prasad CA says:

    Is this not a Red line?

  3. Sri says:

    Welcome back TMRG!!

  4. Pradeep says:

    The colour of Gottigere-Nagawara line has been changed to pink to avoid red. In the mobility sector, red indicates ‘stop’,” BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth explained. Source TOI

  5. Shinde says:

    Do you have any update on why there is no work happening on purple line[Phase2] between Byappanahalli to KR Puram Tinfactory ?

  6. yantraka says:

    “BMRCL requires them to deploy 2 TBMs.” Two TBMs each (for Afcons and ITD-Cementation)?

    • Ashok Kumar says:


      L&T will deploy 4 TBMs on the Vellara Road Station – Shivaji Nagar – Tannery Road stretch.

      Afcons Infrastructure will have to deploy 3 TBMs on the South Ramp at Dairy Circle to Vellara Junction stretch.

      ITD Cementation will have to deploy 3 TBMs on the Tannery Road to North Ramp at Nagawara stretch.

      See the last paragraph of the post.


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