ITD Lowers Chennai Metro Line 4’s TBM Pelican at Panagal Park

ITD Cementation on Monday began lowering parts of tunnel boring machine (TBM) S-1075B (Pelican) at Panagal Park Crossover’s Launch Shaft for constructing underground tunnels on Chennai Metro’s 26.1 km Line-4 (Poonamallee Bypass – Light House).

This is the first TBM to be lowered for the 116.1 km Chennai Metro Phase 2 project‘s Package UG-2 (Kodambakkam Flyover – Boat Club), and the third TBM overall to be lowered on the entire Line-4 after TBM Flamingo (S-1352A) and TBM Eagle (S-1073B).

Front shield going down – Photo by Irshad Alam

This Ø6.67m Herrenknecht EPB machine had previously been deployed by CEC – ITD – Tata JV as TBM Krishna-3 and built 3 tunnels for Package UGC-04 of Mumbai Metro’s 33.5 km Line-3 (Aqua Line).

The machine was then refurbished and passed factory acceptance tests (FAT) in August 2023 at Herrenknecht’s Tamil Nadu plant in Thiruvallur District’s Alinjivakkam Village.

In the coming months, the machine now known as TBM Pelican, will dig and build a roughly 1100 meter tunnel for the up-line from Panagal Park Crossover to Kodambakkam as part of its first assignment.

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 first of roughly 9000 tunnel segments at their Muthukadu Casting Yard along ECR Road – view images here.

Photo by Arjun Dhotre
Photo by Irshad Alam

Chennai’s Line-4 consists of roughly 16 kms of TBM tunnels (up & down line) for which ITD Cementation will deploy 4 machines. Here’s a status of each:

  • S-1352A (Flamingo) on UG-01 – Started tunneling in September 2023, roughly 130m tunnel built so far
  • S-1073B (Eagle) on UG-01 – Site Acceptance Tests (SAT) performed in December 2023
  • S-1075B (Pelican) on UG-02 – Parts are being lowered at Panagal Park’s Crossover (this post!)
  • S-1074B (Peacock) on UG-02 – passed FAT in April 2023; will be lowered next

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

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