Trains could chug between Byappanahalli and Mysore Road by December this year
Tunnelling work on Namma Metro’s 18.1-km East-West Corridor was completed on Monday after tunnel boring machine (TBM) Helen finished burrowing the 229 m tunnel between Bangalore City Railway Station underground (UG) station and Kempegowda UG station (Majestic).
The 4.8-km twin tunnels between Cubbon Park UG station and City Railway Station UG station thus are now ready for track laying and other related works before trains commence chugging on this corridor. The breakthrough was achieved around 4 p.m., according to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola.
Mr. Kharola told The Hindu that burrowing of twin tunnels on this 229-m stretch was the most challenging as it was being done beneath moving trains at the Bangalore City Railway Station. Helen had earlier completed one of the twin tunnels on this stretch on January 8, taking about 70 days. Tunnelling work on the East-West Corridor had commenced in June 2011 from Majestic after being inaugurated by the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. The contract for laying tracks has been awarded and the work would commence this month, Mr. Kharola said. BMRCL has imported required number of head-hardened rails for the same. While the four underground stations on the corridor — Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, Sir M. Visvesvaraya (Central College) and City Railway Station — are nearing completion, work on the interchange station at Majestic (Kempegowda) is still under progress, he said.
Since the work at the Kempegowda UG station is likely to take more time, BMRCL is planning to make the station a ‘through’ station for the East-West corridor initially.
Mr. Kharola said since the East-West line was the upper line at the interchange station, lower North-South line’s crossing portion would be completed quickly to facilitate the through station. Portions of the roof for the lower line are ready, he said.
About the commencement of passenger services on the East-West line, Mr. Kharola said trains could run by the year-end and passenger operations would commence later. “As the trains have to run underground, we have to be sure about safety,” he said.