L&T Begins Testing TBM Urja at Bangalore Metro’s Cantt Station

Engineers from Larsen & Toubro on Thursday began site acceptance tests (SAT) on their tunnel boring machine (TBM) Urja at Cantonment Station for building tunnels on the 21.386 km Line-4 (Reach 6 / Pink Line) of the 73.92 km Bangalore Metro Phase 2 project.

This Ø6.67m slurry machine (DZ670) was dispatched from TBM manufacturer China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (CRCHI)’s plant in Changsha after completing factory acceptance tests (FAT) in November 2019. The machine’s parts arrived in the city in February and workers began lowering them into the station’s southern-end in March.

Per the tunneling plan, this TBM along with TBM Vindhya, visible in one of the images below, will exclusively build tunnels on the 2.884 km package RT-03 (Shivajinagar – Tannery Road) which was awarded by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) in February 2019. The machines will first travel to Shivajinagar and then be brought back to the Cantonment Station for building tunnels towards Pottery Town and Tannery Road stations.

Route of RT03 – view Bangalore Metro Phase 2 info & route map
Photo Copyright: Aryaman Gupta
TBMs Urja (left) and Vindhya (right) – Photo Copyright: Aryaman Gupta
Urja’s rear – Photo Copyright: Aryaman Gupta


Earlier this month, BMRCL’s Director of Projects revealed to the New Indian Express that excavation can not begin without CRCHI’s tunneling experts due to warranty conditions, so it’ll be interesting to see if and when actual excavation begins with local tunneling experts. The way things are going, I do not expect BMRCL to provide an advance notice or plan a grand event for it.

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


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

14 Responses to "L&T Begins Testing TBM Urja at Bangalore Metro’s Cantt Station"

  1. Tony Jose says:

    Once the TBM is fully operational what would you presume the distance it can excavate a month?

    • TMRG says:

      Bangalore’s geology is tricky, so not even L&T can provide an informed guesstimate at this time 🙂

      Happy to share that with more frequent bore-holes drilled in 2017-18, BMRCL and their contractors are better equipped for Phase 2’s tunneling, but you still never know what surprises the terrain will throw.

      At the onset, excavation is going to be very slow as they cannot risk having the machine breaking down. 5-8 meters per day will be nice. Anything more will be great!

      • Himanshu says:

        Do you think we will get to see more TBMs deployed in this section to speed up the process, like they’ve done in Mumbai metro’s aqua line?

        • TMRG says:

          Total of 9 TBMs are being deployed for the 13.885 km UG section – 4 by L&T, 3 by Afcons and 2 by ITD Cem.

          That’s more TBMs per km than Mumbai’s Aqua Line (17 TBMs for 33 km UG section)

      • Yogesh singh says:

        Sir saftey supervisor ki vacancy hai isme

  2. Ashok Kumar says:

    They still have to wait for CRCHI’s tunneling experts to begin work right? Or have they found a way to do a teleconference like they did here https://themetrorailguy.com/2020/06/20/factory-tests-for-mumbai-metro-line-7s-tracks-held-over-video-call/

    • TMRG says:

      I’m not sure if and how CRCHI’s experts will now be involved at the start of tunneling. If I had to guess, I’d imagine they’ll be on standby for any issues that may arise.

      I can however confirm L&T has onboarded some domestic TBM experts with experience across metro and hydro projects.

  3. Arjun says:

    I see that the Koramangala flyover construction has stalled. Any idea if there could be an upcoming metro in the area?

    • Arjun says:

      And how does the completion of the flyover impact the prospect of metro in Koramangala? Does it rule it out?

    • Dhanush says:

      For now, there’s no metro planned in the koramangala area…. Simplex is very slow in constructing any project given to them… The work might have got stalled because of some personal problem of simplex

  4. Syed Hafeezur says:

    What is the drilling speed if TBM, 10meters per hour?


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Join the discussion...