India’s National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. (NHSRCL) and Afcons Infrastructure on Thursday signed a Rs. 6397.27 crore contract to construct 20.377 km underground Package C-2 of the 508.17 km Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR Bullet Train).
Package C2 of the main-line with a single tube will link chainage Km 0.773 (Bandra Kurla Complex Station) to Km 21.150 (Shilphata Ramp) and consist of a roughly 3 km “undersea” tunnel below Thane Creek.
Afcons Infrastructure is chasing a 1888 day (5.17 years) deadline and will be required to use at least 3 Mega Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) with a diameter of roughly 13.1 meters to bore approximately 16 kms of tunnel. The rest 5 km will be built using the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM).
Afcons was declared as the lowest bidder, narrowly beating Larsen & Toubro, for C2’s contract in early April 2023, and NHSCRL issued a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) to Afcons in mid-May 2023.
IFB Number: Package No. MAHSR-C-2
Brief Scope: Construction of Tunnelling Works including Testing and Commissioning for Double Line High Speed Railway using (TBM) and (NATM) between Mumbai Underground Station at Bandra-Kurla Complex (MAHSR Km. 0.773) and Shilphata (MAHSR Km. 21.150)
Afcons will construct 3 shafts at BKC Station, Vikhroli, and Sawli at approximate depths of 36m, 56m and 39m respectively to launch and retrieve 3 TBMs. An inclined shaft of 42m at Ghansoli and tunnel portal at Shilphata will facilitate NATM tunneling works.
I hear Afcons has not yet finalized a manufacturer to supply their 3 TBMs. They’ve historically tied up with Herrenknecht for metro projects and more recently with Terratec for the Delhi-Meerut RRTS, so I believe their machines will definitely come from either of those suppliers.
With this development, I expect Afcons to start basic preparatory works by month-end, construction work towards the end of Q3 2023 and actual tunneling work no sooner than Q1 2025.
135.45 km Package C3 (Shilphata – Zaroli) in Maharashtra is the only civil package left in the bidding stage. NHSRCL is currently evaluating technical bids received from 4 firms in April, which is expected to wrapped up anytime now, so stay tuned to see who wins that contract!
A list of all bullet train civil & system packages and their status can be viewed here.
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