Indian Railway to construct 5 tunnels for between Barkhera – Budni section of Bhopal – Itarsi 3rd line project

Indian Railways has focussed on execution of maintenance works pending for several years confronting Railways with severe bottlenecks. In this series, Indian Railway has taken up major tunnelling work in a big way for the Broad gauge 3rd line between Barkhera – Budni (26.50 kms.) section of Bhopal – Itarsi third line project of West Central Railway zone.

  • Indian Railways’ PSU, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited is constructing Five Tunnels with NATM (New Austrian Tunneling Method) having ballast less track in connection with third electrified broad-gauge railway line between Barkhera – Budni on Bhopal – Itarsi route on Bhopal Division of West Central Railway in Sehore and Raisin Districts of Madhya Pradesh.
  • This will ease congestion on Golden Diagonal, Delhi – Chennai route. With the commissioning of the third line, trains shall run at a speed of 130 Kmph between Bina-Bhopal-Itarsi Section.
  • For capacity enhancement, work of construction of third line on Bhopal – Itarsi Section is sanctioned by Railway Board in three separate works i.e.
    • Habibganj (HBJ) – Barkhera (BKA) – 41.42 KMs – Work Completed
    • Barkhera (BKA) – Budni (BNI) 26.5 KMs – Work in Progress
    • Budni (BNI) – Itarsi (ET) 25 KMs – Work Completed
  • Section 1 & 3 fall in plain territory and do not involve issues e.g. Wildlife/Forest clearances, land acquisition etc. 
  • In Section 2 i.e. Barkhera (BKA) – Budni (BNI) section, the entire length of existing two tracks as well as the proposed track falls either in Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary (Tiger Habitat) or it’s Eco-Sensitive Zone.

Salient Features of the project:

1)Year of Sanction
Barkhera-Budni 3rd Line2011 – 2012
2)Project Cost
Barkhera-BudniRs 991.60 Cr
3)Length of Project26.50 Km
4)Number of Stations4
5)Number of Tunnels5
6)Date of Completion
Barkhera-BudniJune 2022
  • RVNL is constructing these tunnels in the horse shoe section; this form consists of a semi-circular roof together with arched sides and a curved invert.
  • The method followed to construct this tunnel is NATM (New Austrian Tunneling Method). 
  • NATM is a support method to stabilize the tunnel perimeter by means of sprayed concrete, anchors and other supports and uses monitoring to control stability.

The location of these tunnels is:-

S.NoTunnel No.LengthRemarks
1T1 (Budni)1080.00Single Track
2T2 (Midghat)200.00Single Track
3T3 (Bhimkoti)200.00Single Track
4T4 (Choka)140.00Double Track
5T5 (Barkhera)530.00Double Track
Total Length2150.00

Tunnel T-1:

  • Breakthrough of Tunnel-1(1080 m) was done on 18.03.2021.
  • Present status:
    • Invert cleaning and PCC work in progress.
    • Excavation and installation for 315mm dia Central drain is in progress.
    • Installation of 160mm dia perforated side drain with Nofine concrete is in progress
    • Waterproofing installation in progress
    • Invert lining (Bottom RCC) in progress

Tunnel T-2:

  • Tunnel -2 is a 200 m Single Track tunnel.
  • Present status:
    • Portal development work is in progress.
    • Epoxy grouting in an existing tunnel in progress.

Tunnel T-3:

  • Tunnel -3 is a 200 m Single Track tunnel.
  • Present status:
    • Underground excavation around 51m from Portal-1 and Portal-2 is completed. 
    • At present benching excavation in progress from Portal-2 side.

Tunnel T-4:

  • Tunnel-4 is a 140 m Double Track tunnel.
  • Present status:
    • Portal development work is in progress at Itarsi end. 
    • Tunnel excavation started from Bhopal end. 12m excavation completed.

Tunnel T-5:

  • Breakthrough of Tunnel-5(530 m) was done on 19.02.2021.
  • The tunnel was constructed on a 500 m curvature. 
  • The total length of Tunnel-5 is 530m and the width is 14.4 m, which is exceptional, as this is a double track tunnel. 

  • The construction of single track tunnels is the norm over Indian Railways. 
  • As Tunnel-5 lies in a wildlife sanctuary, very strict procedures were followed which included tunnelling work being done only in one shift from sunrise to sunset. 
  • Tunnelling was started in May 2020 from both ends as per procedure and on Feb 21 the complete tunnel was excavated on 19.02.2021. 
  • The tunnels from both ends met in perfect alignment with zero error, thus maintaining complete accuracy and resulting in a perfect breakthrough. 
  • This was achieved despite three months of heavy monsoon and lockdown period. All safety norms were observed successfully.
  • Present status:
    • Complete excavation by heading and Benching of Double Track Tunnel T-5 completed on 09.05.2021.
    • Invert cleaning and PCC work in progress.
    • Excavation and installation for 315mm dia Central drain is in progress.
    • Installation of 160mm dia perforated side drain with No fine concrete is in progress
    • Waterproofing installation in progress
    • Invert lining (Bottom RCC) in progress

Source: PIB-Press Release