ITD’s 1st Chennai Metro Line-4 TBM Flamingo Starts Tunneling

ITD Cementation India and Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) on Friday officially launched tunneling works at Light House Station for 26.1 km Line-4’s Package UG-01 of the 116.1 km Chennai Metro Phase 2 project.

Following a puja ceremony, ITD Cem’s team conducted site acceptance tests (SAT) for tunnel boring machine (TBM) S1352A – nicknamed Flamingo – the first of 4 machines for east-west Line-4’s 10 km underground section between Power House Ramp – Light House Station.

Photo by Saleem Hussain
Photo by a follower

Starting next week – this 110m long Ø6.67m Herrenknecht Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) machine will first excavate and build 1.96 km tunnel for the down-line from Light House to Kutchery Road (Thirumayilai) at a maximum depth of 30m below the ground. CMRL hopes to retrieve the machine from Boat Club in May 2026.

CMRL’s May 2023 updated Chennai Metro Phase 2 Map – view Phase 2 information & route map

Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) had awarded ITD Cem with Line-4’s two underground contracts for packages UG-01 (5.15 km) & UG-02 (4.87 km) in January 2022 with a combined contract value of Rs. 3743.24 crore and 48 month deadline.

ITD in December 2022 had cast the 1st of roughly 9000 tunnel segments at their Muthukadu Casting Yard along ECR Road – view images here.

Photo by a follower
Photo by Saleem Hussain
Notice the foam on the ground from the site acceptance test – Photo by Saleem Hussain

Chennai’s Line-4 consists of roughly 16 kms of TBM tunnels (up & down line). CMRL’s press release reveals cute avian-themed names of all 4 TBMs:

  • S-1352A is Flamingo – passed FAT in May 2023 (UG-01 ; new)
  • S-1073B is Eagle – passed FAT in January 2023 (UG-01 ; refurbished)
  • S-1074B is Peacock – passed FAT in April 2023 (UG-02 ; refurbished)
  • S-1075B is Pelican – passed FAT in August 2023 (UG-02 ; refurbished)

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

4 Responses to "ITD’s 1st Chennai Metro Line-4 TBM Flamingo Starts Tunneling"

  1. M says:

    Isn’t 18 months a really long time to commission the first TBM after contract award? Do you see them meeting the 48 month deadline?

  2. Jooby says:

    It will be retrieved after 2 years and 8 months – just around 2 kms, such long period, can you clarify

    • TMRG says:

      1.96 km is just from Light House to Kutchery Road (Thirumayilai).

      It will continue tunneling east and eventually be retrieved from Boat Club, a total of ~4.5 km from Light House to Boat Club.


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