Metros Tenders

Afcons Awarded Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train’s C2 Tunnel Contract


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)

Alignment of Package C2 in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) connecting BKC and Shilphata – view Mumbai – Ahmedabad HSR info & route map
Contract signing event on June 8, 2023 – Photo by NHSRCL

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.

Infographic by NHSRCL

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.

For more updates, check out the High Speed Rail section or my Home Page! Sign up for free instant email notifications on new posts over here. Like this post? Get early-access to updates and support the site over here.



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