In the sequence of ongoing developments within the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor (MAHSR), construction has officially started on a mountain tunnel as part of the C4 package of this ambitious project.
The C4 package involves the planning and construction of 237 km-long viaduct that will establish a connection between Vapi and Vadodara. It will include four stations — Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, and the Surat Depot.
Within this section, the mountain tunnel stands to be a crucial component. Located at a distance of roughly 1 km from Zaroli Village in Umbergaon taluka, Valsad district, Gujarat, this tunnel stands exclusive in the C4 package of the corridor.
The overall structure will include the tunnel, the tunnel portal, and various connecting elements, including the tunnel entrance hood.
The New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) will be utilised in the construction of this tunnel to ensure the highest standards of workmanship.
The mountain tunnel will span a length of 350 m. It will have a distinctive single-tube horseshoe shape with a diameter of 12.6 m and height of 10.25 m. It has been designed to accommodate two tracks, ensuring seamless and efficient travel within the high-speed rail corridor.
In its entirety, the MAHSR corridor will have a total of seven mountain tunnels, all constructed using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method.
The high-speed rail project holds great significance for the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, as it is poised to substantially reduce the travel time between these two states.
Further, it is India’s first high-speed rail project. The high-speed rail operating at 320 kmph will traverse along west India’s landscape, covering a 508.17 km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
It will cover 155.76 km in Maharashtra, 4.3 km in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and 348.04 km in Gujarat, with 12 stations en route.
The first trial run of MAHSR project, is scheduled for August 2026 between Surat and Bilimora (63 km).
The government is yet to determine a final deadline for the entire project.
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