After the construction of the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India is heading towards the construction of the world’s highest railway bridge. Indian Railways is constructing the railway bridge at a height of 359 metres above the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir.
Notably, this bridge will be 30-35 m higher than the Eiffel Tower. This bridge will form the crucial link between Katra and Banihal which is a key part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project.
An engineering member of the Railway Board recently said that the work on the installation of the main arch between two sides of the bridge has already begun. The work was stopped in 2008-09 which began in 2004. The work was stopped on the account of rail passengers’ safety due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area.
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) January 4, 2019
Here are 5 incredible facts about the world’s highest railway bridge:
- This arch bridge is being constructed at a height of 359 metres above Chenab river waters and will be 1.315-km-long. The bridge will have railway stations at both its terminal ends.
- Installation of sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity is under Railways concern. The train movement will stop if the wind speed exceeds 90 Kmph. As per officials, the bridge can withstand winds up to 260 Kmph and its lifespan will be 120 years.
- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working the Railways to ensure that this Rs 12,000-crore bridge is able to withstand any major blast. Since the bridge is being built in a terrorism-prone region, special 63 mm-thick blasts proof steel is being used in the construction of this bridge.
- The bridge is designed by consultants from Finland and Germany and its concrete pillars are also designed in a way that it can withstand blasts/explosions.
- The arch bridge can also withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8 on the Richter scale. It may be noted that even though the bridge falls under zone 4, it is being built to handle earthquake with an intensity of zone 5 which is the highest intensity zone in the country.
Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal shared the glances of Chenab Bridge on Twitter and said, “Railways is on track to achieve another engineering milestone with the Chenab Bridge in Jammu & Kashmir, set to be the highest railway arch bridge in the world.”
Railways is on track to achieve another engineering milestone with the Chenab Bridge in Jammu & Kashmir, set to be the highest railway arch bridge in the world pic.twitter.com/N4O4x8AkJc
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) December 27, 2018
On the other side of the river, Indian Railways is also constructing three big tunnels- T2 (5.9 KM), T3 (9.369 km) and T14 (13 km). Over 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge by May this year, according to the officials.
A ropeway is also being installed on the bridge for inspection and maintenance purpose. According to reports, footpaths and cycle trails will also be constructed adjacent to the railway bridge. The Railway had to construct 22 km of roads in order to reach the bridge site.