Agra Metro: TBM Shivaji achieves Second Breakthrough at Taj Mahal Ramp Area

Achieving a breakthrough with the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) stands as a formidable accomplishment in metro projects, demanding unparalleled accuracy and precision.

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AGRA (Metro Rail News): The Afcons Infrastructure – SAM India Consortium marked a significant milestone last Wednesday as the tunnel boring machine (TBM) Shivaji (S-718C) achieved its second breakthrough at the ramp area, (near the cut and cover ramp area ) for the Agra Metro Phase 1 project, covering a total distance of 29.40 km.

The Ø6.63m diameter Herrenknecht Earth Pressure Balance machine, refurbished for this endeavour, is the third machine employed to construct twin underground tunnels spanning 14.25 km on Line-1’s 7.93 km RBS College Ramp – Taj Mahal Ramp section (Package AGCC-02).

TBM Shivaji has successfully constructed tunnel from Taj Mahal Metro Station to Ramp Area (Cut and Cover ramp)

TBM Shivaji, operational since early August 2023, initially completed a 228m tunnel in just 54 days for the up-line between Taj Mahal Station’s launch shaft and the cut & cover ramp on Fatehabad Road, with the breakthrough event occurring on October 1.

Following this, the machine was disassembled, transported back to Taj Mahal Station, and relaunched on November 2 to construct the 236m down-line tunnel. Impressively, the machine returned after a mere 42-day journey.

Speaking on the same, MD UPMRC Shri Sushil Kumar said, “This is an important milestone as the tunnel section for three underground stations has been completed. We are striving to commence metro operations ahead of schedule instead of actual deadline of August 2024. The three Elevated stations & train depot are ready. The testing of metro trains is being conducted successfully on the mainline.”

The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) had granted Afcons – SAM Consortium the civil construction contract for this section, valued at Rs. 1819.79 crore, in March 2022, with a 48-month deadline. This section spans from chainage 3630.000 to 11564.485, encompassing twin tunnels that connect seven stations, including Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, SN Medical College, Agra College, Raja ki Mandi, and RBS College.

This accomplishment marks the seventh breakthrough for Afcons – SAM JV in the project’s 5.2 km Priority Corridor, linking Jama Masjid to Taj East Gate. Only one more breakthrough, led by TBM Ganga at Taj Mahal Station, is pending to complete the Priority Corridor. Subsequently, approximately 10 more breakthroughs are anticipated between Jama Masjid and RBS College Ramp, connecting to the elevated 3.725 km Package AGCC-05, for which bidding is currently underway.

The TBM breakthrough is one of the most challenging achievements in a metro project which requires high accuracy and ultimate precision. The TBM has come from Chennai and is equipped with high tech features and various safety parameters. It is to be noted that other two TBM’s Yamuna and Ganga have already carried out the contruction of tunnel work of the Underground section of the 6 km Priority stretch of Agra Metro Project. The TBM has constructed the tunnel till the ramp area and the process of construction of underground section of priority corridor, Agra Metro Rail Project has reached its completion.

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