Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Corridor: Underground Tunnelling For RRTS Nears Completion In Meerut


Compared to other rail-based urban public transport systems in the country, this is the first time a tunnel of such a large size is being constructed.

The construction work of underground tunnel in Meerut on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor has reached the final stage.

The breakthrough of the sixth and the last tunnel, which is being constructed from Bhainsali to Begumpul, is to be completed in just a few days of time.

The length of the entire underground section in Meerut is about 5.5 km and less than 100 m of tunnel is left for completion.

Among the underground stations, Meerut Central and Bhainsali are metro stations of Meerut, while Begumpul is an Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) station which will provide both metro and RRTS services to the commuters.

The length of this last tunnel being constructed between Bhaisali to Begumpul is about one km. This tunnel is being built by the tunnel boring machine (TBM) also known as Sudarshan 8.2 and once it is built, the process of tunnelling process in the underground section in Meerut will be completed.

The breakthrough of this tunnel will be done in Begumpul retrieving shaft, for which preparation is being done.

TBM 8.1 (Sudarshan) was launched from Bhainsali launching shaft in April 2022 to build Meerut’s first tunnel between Bhainsali to Meerut Central.

Since then, successfully completing the construction of all six tunnels in Meerut within 15 months, is a major achievement for the world class RRTS project being implemented for the convenience of the people of Meerut.

There are three underground stations in Meerut — Meerut Central, Bhainsali and Begumpul on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS and Meerut Metro corridor. To connect these stations, two parallel tunnels are being constructed in three parts, that is, a total of six tunnels.

These parallel tunnels are being constructed between Bhainsali to Meerut Central, Gandhi Bagh to Begumpul and Bhainsali to Begumpul. The parallel tunnels between Bhainsali to Meerut Central and Gandhi Bagh to Begumpul have already been completed.

The first tunnel of the parallel tunnel being constructed between Bhainsali to Begumpul was completed by the TBM in June 2023 and now its parallel tunnel is going to be completed.

About 35 thousand tunnel segments have been used for the construction of all the tunnels in Meerut.

Casting of these tunnel segments is being done at NCRTC’s casting yard at Shatabdi Nagar, with assured quality control. In the tunnelling process, pre-cast segments are inserted into the bored tunnel and a ring is formed by joining the seven segments. These segments and rings are joined with the help of bolts.

In the section between Bhaisali to Begumpul, this tunnel is crossing the congested areas of the city, passing under the Begumpul drain and reaching Begumpul station.

The TBM (Sudarshan 8.2) used latest techniques to cross the drain and utmost care was taken by the tunnel experts.

The section also had a very sharp bend of 600 m radius, making tunneling by TBM a difficult task. The breakthrough of this tunnel will be done at a depth of about 14 m from the ground.

It may be noted that the RAPIDX tunnels have a diameter of 6.5 m which is quite optimised as compared to the global benchmark of other tunnels built in the world, for wide and tall rolling stock with a corresponding design speed of 180 kmph.

Compared to other rail-based urban public transport systems in the country, this is the first time a tunnel of such a large size is being constructed.

NCRTC is going to provide Meerut Metro, the local transit services on RRTS network, which will have 13 stations in a distance of 23 km. NCRTC aims to make the entire corridor operational for the public by 2025.