L&T Begins Tunneling for Bangalore Metro Phase 2’s Pink Line

Historic day for Bengaluru! Moments ago, Larsen & Toubro commissioned tunnel boring machine (TBM) Urja – their first of four machines – at Cantonment Station in the presence of Karnataka’s Chief Minister 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 machine is one of 9 TBMs which will be deployed by Larsen & Toubro (Packages RT-02 & 03), Afcons Infrastructure (RT-01) and ITD Cementation (RT-04) for building the Pink Line’s 13.885 km underground section between Dairy Circle and Nagawara consisting of 12 stations.

As explained earlier, 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, 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 roughly 860 meters to Shivajinagar, and then be brought back to the Cantonment Station for building tunnels towards Pottery Town and Tannery Road stations. Per BMRCL’s press release, the “expected geology in this tunnel section is about 250m in Hard Rock, 350m in mixed-ground conditions and about 255m in soil.

Route of RT03 – view Bangalore Metro Phase 2 info & route map
TBMs Vindhya and Urja lined up
Photo Copyright: Lalitha at TNIE
Ready to bore!
1st batch of tunnel ring segments lowered into the station

Within the station’s shaft, TBM Urja will today build only 1 temporary ring which is equivalent to 1.4 meters. Some amazing images of the ring segments stacked at L&T’s yard can be viewed here.

Launch Video:

Back in 2017, a day prior to the inauguration of Phase 1’s final section, I wrote a post with supporting images on the history of the Phase 1 project’s tunneling, specifically the Green Line’s 4 km underground section, which took over 4 years to complete. Check it out here for a refresher on the geology challenge that awaits – History of Bangalore Metro Green Line’s Underground Section

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


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

19 Responses to "L&T Begins Tunneling for Bangalore Metro Phase 2’s Pink Line"

  1. JR says:

    When will second TBM start?

    • TMRG says:

      Only after Urja is out of Vindhya’s influence zone. L&T tells me that’ll be at ring number 50.

      • Abhijit Seal says:

        So it means another 2 weeks it will plan to start by. What about other places TBMs. Rest 8 of them when will it start.

        • TMRG says:

          L&T’s Avni will start in another month or so. They’re currently casting the station’s head-wall. Lavi will follow it.

          For the rest 5 belonging to Afcons/ITD, I’m waiting for their factory acceptance tests to be completed. At this time, easily 9+ months away from starting. Keep in mind, these contracts were also awarded 9 months after the ones to L&T.

  2. Vishruth says:

    Is there an approximate time frame/target for the first breakthrough at Shivajinagar?

    • Ashok Kumar says:

      Using a very optimistic speed of 2-3 m/day, it might take about 12-16 months to complete the first break through.

      Since the number of soil tests done were more compared to phase 1, the contractor is likely to have a better knowledge of the geology making the tunneling slightly faster. So fingers are crossed.

      • TMRG says:


        12+ months might seem like a long time away, but it’s the right way to keep moving without having the machine break down.

  3. Surya Prasad CA says:

    Any idea when the elevated line of this line will complete?

    • Tony Jose says:

      Simplex seems to be moving at a snails pace, I don’t expect commencement of operations any sooner than 2 and a half years

      • Arun says:

        As per last month’s news letter, 26% of the work is completed by Simplex. They seem to progess 1% per month and occasionally 2% per month. So, with the current speed I am guessing Simplex will take another 5yrs to complete. Just my personal opinion.

        • Akhilesh says:

          Is there a way Simplex contract can be scrapped and a new one given out?

          I am afraid the underground section can be completed before the elevated one.

          • TMRG says:

            Can definitely be done – Mumbai and Ahmedabad have terminated their contracts. Not sure why BMRCL is still sticking with them.

  4. Ashok says:

    That’s fantastic. A significant milestone date for Phase-2.

    I can bet L&T will finish the underground section before Simplex completes overground section!!

  5. Suryanarayana Rao says:

    Great News indeed.

  6. Samarth Srivatsan says:

    @TMRG any updates about phase 2A ??

  7. Samarth Srivatsan says:

    @TMRG any updates about phase 2A ?

  8. Abhi says:

    Is it possible to have a city based subscription service? Generally the city emails turn out to be spam for subscribers from other cities


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