Afcons Infrastructure on Friday celebrated tunnel boring machine S90’s second tunnel breakthrough at Begumpul RRTS Station’s North Shaft for the 82.15 km Delhi – Meerut RRTS project.
This was S90’s final breakthrough and Afcons’ fourth of six tunnel breakthroughs planned for 5.68 km underground Package 8 of this semi high-speed rail project.
This 7.51m diameter Terratec Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) machine, nicknamed Sudarshan 8.3, had recorded its first breakthrough at Begumpul’s North Shaft in October 2022 after tunneling ~750m from Begumpul UP Ramp for the down-line tunnel.
The machine was then brought back to the ramp’s site in Meerut Cantonment’s Gandhi Bagh (view satellite imagery on Google Maps) and relaunched in December 2022 to build the parallel ~750m up-line tunnel towards Begumpul Station.
National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) had awarded Afcons Infrastructure with Package 8’s Rs. 1529.10 crore contract in November 2020 with a 1310 day (3.6 year) deadline.
Afcons’ scope includes constructing six twin tunnels from Brahampuri DN Ramp to Begumpul UP Ramp with 3 underground stations at Meerut Central, Bhaisali & Begumpul by cut & cover method.
With this development, S90’s job is now done! It’ll now be stored away and will likely see action again in the 106 km Delhi – SNB RRTS project which is currently pending approval. A lot of course depends on who wins its numerous underground packages, but we’ll either see Afcons use it or sell it. It can’t be used for metro projects due to its large diameter profile.
Afcons now has 2 more breakthroughs pending. TBM S88 (Sudarshan 8.1) was recommissioned from Bhaisali Station to Begumpul Station (1 km) in February 2023, while S89 (Sudarshan 8.2)’s parts were just lowered this month to build the parallel tunnel.
Back in February, Afcons had poured first-stage invert concrete inside the down-line tunnel between Begumpul UP Ramp and Begumpal Station to facilitate track-laying work by Larsen & Toubro. Here’s a pic of how it looks like now:
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