A contract has been awarded under the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project for the construction of Sabarmati Depot (MAHSR – D-2) in Gujarat. The contract was awarded to a consortium comprising Sojitz Corporation of Japan, and the construction arm of Larsen and Tourbo by the National High-Speed Rail Corp. Ltd. (NHSRCL).
The scope of the MAHSR -D-2 package project involves the design, supply, construction, and testing in addition to the commissioning of the depot. Spread over approximately 82 hectares the depot will include various specialized equipment to inspect and maintain the MAHSR rolling stock based on the proven Shinkansen technology. Upon completion, Sabarmati Depot (MAHSR – D-2) will be the biggest of its kind in India according to L&T.
In May 2022, the railways business of L&T Construction was awarded another contract under the MAHSR Project by NHSRCL. The contract entails the construction of 116 route km of High-Speed Ballastless Trackwork (Package No: T3).
Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed/bullet train project overview
Expected to be the first of its kind in India upon completion, the Mumbai–Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor is an under-construction high-speed rail line connecting the South Asian country’s economic hub, Mumbai, with the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
Noteworthy, the 508km project is a part of the 650 km-long high-speed rail corridor that was proposed to run from Pune to Ahmedabad through Mumbai. The corridor (Mumbai–Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor) comprises 460.3 km of viaducts, 25.87 km of tunnels (including a 7km section undersea), 12.9 km of cut and fill, and 9.22 km of bridges.
The line will have a total of 12 stations in Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand/Nadiad, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati. The stations will be constructed either above or next to existing railway stations to provide transfer with the Indian Railways network.
Two rail depots will also be built as part of the Mumbai–Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor project, one each near Thane and Sabarmati Rail Depot.
Shinkansen E5 trains, which are capable of running at a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour (220 miles per hour), will run on the line at a speed of 320 kilometers per hour (200 miles per hour).
The US$17.15bn project is being implemented by Rail Vikas Nigam and National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) with the financial help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which agreed to fund 81% of the total project cost through a 50-year loan at an interest rate of 0.1% with a moratorium on repayments up to 15 years. The remaining cost will be borne by the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Other key players in the project include the Ministry of Railways, the Government of India / HSRC, and a joint venture (JV) comprising Japan International Consultants for Transportation (JIC), NIPPON KOEI, and Oriental Consultants Global.
Mumbai–Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor project timeline
In September 2017, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke ground for the start of the construction works that the NHSRCL divided into 27 packages for which it would award contracts separately.
In April, the NHSCRL floated tenders for the construction of the undersea tunnel, and in August of this same year, another tender for works between Vadodara and Ahmedabad was advertised.
In January, the NHSRCL invited final bids for the construction of the Mumbai terminal.
In July of this same year, NHSRCL announced that it had cast the first full-height pier for the Mumbai–Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor project near Vapi, Gujarat.
In August the agency floated tenders for the construction of the Sabarmati depot.
In September, a Full Span Launching Equipment-Straddle Carrier and Girder Transporter were deployed for use in the project. The equipment, 30 of such will be used in the construction of the project, was indigenously designed and manufactured at Larsen and Toubro’s manufacturing facility in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
In early October, the first segment for Mumbai- Ahmedabad HSR corridor was cast at a casting yard near Navsari. These segments are 11.90 to 12.4m in length and 2.1 to 2.5 m in width with a depth of 3.40 m & weighing approx. 60 MT. 19 such segments will make a span of 45m.
In late October, NHSRCL invited bids for the construction of a 21-km long single-tube twin-track tunnel, with a diameter of 13.1 m, between the underground station at Bandra-Kurla Complex and Shilphata in the Thane district of Maharashtra.
15.42 km of tunneling would be carried out with three TBMs and the remaining 4.96 km will be built using NATM.
In early November, the casting of a full-span pre-stressed concrete (PSC) box girder to be used for the project was launched. This was the second PSC box girder developed for the project according to NHSRCL.
All permissions granted for Mumbai–Ahmedabad rail project
The Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed/bullet train project implementation is set to take off. This is after the Maharashtra government through the CM (Eknath Shinde) granted all permissions required for the project.
This move brings to life the project which was stuck due to a lack of the necessary clearances from the government. The clearances included land acquisition, especially at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Vikhroli in Mumbai. Reportedly paperwork for acquiring 74% of the total land (433.82 Ha) required in Maharashtra for the project has been completed so far.
However, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) had got physical possession of only 39% (168 Ha) of land. The remaining had been pending since 2019 when the MVA government was formed.
Directive to sort out the land acquisition issues
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Manukumar Shrivastava undertook a review of the bullet train project. He told the collector of Mumbai Suburbs, Nidhi Chaudhari, the collector of Thane, Rajesh Narvekar, and the collector of Palghar, Manik Gursal, to sort out the land acquisition issues.
Furthermore, Shrivastava asked Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to hand over the Bandra plot to the NHSRCL and shift the petrol pump and fire station at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Vikhroli in Mumbai soon.
Other clearances hindering the start of the project
Apart from the land acquisition, forest clearance in the state was also pending.
Speaking on the project an official close to it said, “Shifting of Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Corporation Limited (MSETCL) lines and Forest Clearance Stage-I for 29.32 ha forest land for shifting of EHV lines pertaining to PGCIL and MSETCL in Palghar and Thane districts and shifting of DC Earthing Station, for rolling stock depot, to an alternate location by MSETCL in Thane district was also pending.”
Bids invited for Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)
Bids for the design and construction of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the only underground station in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor, have been invited.
The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) invited bids for the high-speed rail station in Mumbai under the C1 package. The package, in addition to the BKC station, also includes a cut and cover length of 467m and a ventilation Shaft of 66m. This shaft will be used for taking out the tunnel boring machine (retrieval shaft).
The Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) will reportedly have 6 platforms. The length of each platform is approx. 425m which makes it sufficient to accommodate a 16-coach bullet train. The station will have connectivity with the metro and road.
Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) design overview
The Complex is planned at a depth of about 24 meters from the ground level. It will feature a total of three floors including a platform, concourse, and service floor. Two entry/exit points are planned. One will facilitate access to the nearby Metro station of metro line 2B, and the other towards the MTNL building.
Furthermore, the station has been planned in a way that ample space is available for passenger movement and amenities at the concourse and platform levels. These amenities include- security, ticketing, Waiting areas, a business-class Lounge, a nursery, restrooms, and smoking rooms. In addition, there will be Information Kiosks and incidental retail, public information, and announcement system not to mention CCTV surveillance, etc.
Moreover, the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) will feature a dedicated skylight for natural lighting. The plan has also put into consideration, the integration with other modes of transportation like the metro, Buses, autos, and taxis.