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Milestone Achieved: First Mountain Tunnel Completed on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Route in Gujarat

10/6/20232 min read

The completion of the first mountain tunnel on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train corridor is a significant milestone for India's high-speed rail project.

1. Tunnel Location:

The 350-meter-long mountain tunnel is located near Zaroli village in Gujarat's Valsad district. It is part of the country's first high-speed rail corridor, connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

2. Alignment Precision:

The construction team faced the challenge of maintaining the tunnel's alignment with utmost precision because the bullet train is expected to run at a speed of 350 kmph. Any minor alignment flaw could impact the train's performance, making it essential to follow specifications meticulously.

3. Tunnel Construction:

The construction involved digging the skeleton structure of the tunnel, and the finishing work was set to begin after the completion of the initial tunneling phase. It took more than a year and a significant workforce to finish this work.

4. Tunneling Method:

The New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) was used to construct the tunnel. This method is well-established and has been previously utilized in various rail and road projects in mountainous areas in India.

5. Safety Precautions:

Ensuring the safety of both workers and nearby residents during the tunnel construction was a top priority. Precautions were taken to prevent stones, boulders, or other materials from spreading into the surrounding areas and potentially harming people.

6. Project Background:

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) is responsible for constructing the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor. The project was initiated in 2016, with the foundation stone laid in 2017. However, land acquisition challenges led to delays in the project. The initial deadline for project completion by December 2023 has been pushed back, and a new operationalization deadline has yet to be announced.

7. Travel Time Reduction:

Once operational, the bullet train is expected to significantly reduce travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. A commuter traveling on this train can cover the 508-kilometer journey in approximately two hours and seven minutes, in contrast to the current train journey duration of around five hours.

The completion of this mountain tunnel is a step forward in India's ambitious high-speed rail project, which aims to enhance connectivity and reduce travel time between these major cities in the country.