Chennai, India: In a significant development for Chennai's urban infrastructure, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has embarked on the expansion of the city's metro rail network, marking the commencement of Phase 2. This expansion comes on the heels of the successful completion of Phase 1 and Phase 1 Extension Corridors, executed in stages since June 2015, and the increasing ridership observed in Corridors 1 & 2. The Phase 2 expansion project entails the creation of three additional metro rail corridors, totaling a remarkable 116.1 kilometers, encompassing 119 metro stations.
Notably, Phase II's Corridor 4 is a pivotal component of the expansion, characterized by its east-west alignment spanning a length of 26.1 kilometers. This corridor is set to connect the city's beachfront, starting from Light House station and extending to Poonamallee Depot. Corridor 4 boasts a total of 9 underground stations and 18 elevated stations, making it a vital link in Chennai's expanding metro network.
The underground section of Corridor 4, covering a distance of 10 kilometers, begins at the historic Lighthouse station and traverses through a diverse range of localities, from the culturally rich Mylapore and Kutchery Road to the more contemporary and upscale areas of Alwarpet, Bharatidasan, Boat Club, Panagal Park, and Kodambakkam.
To facilitate the construction of Corridor 4, a total of four Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be deployed. The underground portions of this corridor, known as C4-UG 01 and C4-UG 02, have been awarded to ITD Cementation India Limited, tasked with constructing both metro stations and the connecting tunnels. Two TBMs, named Flamingo (S1352A) and Eagle (S1073B), will be launched at the Light House station, while the remaining two, Peacock (S1074B) and Pelican (S1075B), will find their launch point at Panagal Park.
The commencement of the first tunnel construction in Corridor 4 was marked on September 1, 2023, with the launch of TBM Flamingo from the south shaft-down line at Light House station. Thiru. T. Archunan, Director of Projects at CMRL, presided over the inauguration ceremony at Marina Beach Light House Station, graced by senior officials from CMRL, the General Consultants, M/s AEON Consortium, and ITD Cementation.
TBM Flamingo's journey in the down line of Corridor 4 will delve to a maximum depth of 30 meters below the ground. It will begin at Light House Station and advance toward Kutchery Road, with an estimated arrival at Thirumayilai Station in approximately one year. Ultimately, it is slated to reach the retrieval shaft of Boat Club Station by May 2026.
This momentous launch marks a significant step forward in Chennai's Metro network expansion, promising enhanced connectivity and mobility options for the city's residents and commuters.