The iconic bridge will soar 359 metres above the bed of the river and will be 30 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
In a historic moment, the railways has connected the two ends of the main arch of the world’s highest bridge on the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district which will provide direct connectivity to Kashmir Valley.
Railway officials termed the development a “historic” one. Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had recently shared the news on Twitter.
“In a historic moment, the arch bottom of the Chenab bridge has been completed today. Next, the arch upper of the engineering marvel in making will be completed,” he said.
The minister, who also shared a video of the achievement, had said it was set to become the world’s highest railway bridge.
Bridge infrastructure Detail:
The Northern Railway will be completing the most difficult 111-kilometre long section of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link by December 2022 which would connect Kashmir to the rest of India through the railway network, officials said.
The 272 km railway line is being undertaken at an estimated cost of ₹ 28,000 crore by the Northern Railway.
The first section connecting Udhampur to Katra and the third section between Banihal and Baramulla have been completed with both sections operational.
The work to complete the most difficult Katra-Banihal section is going as per schedule, they said.
The Udhampur-Katra (25 km) section, Banihal-Qazigund (18 km) section and Qazigund-Baramulla (118 km) section have already been commissioned.
The last remaining section, the 111 km Katra-Banihal section is currently under execution, officials said, adding that 126 km out of 174 km of tunnels on this section has already been completed.
They said the project is, perhaps, the most difficult new railway line project undertaken in the entire Indian subcontinent.
What Railway minister Tweeted about Bridge:
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal took to Twitter to share an image of the 476 metre-long arch of what will be the world’s highest railway bridge, currently under construction in Jammu and Kashmir.
Calling it an “infrastructural marvel in making,” Goyal had tweeted, “Indian Railways is well on track to achieve another engineering milestone with the steel arch of Chenab bridge reaching at closure position. It is all set to be the world’s highest railways bridge.” Note that the construction of the main arch, reportedly, began in November 2017.
Railways is planning to install sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity. In case, the wind speed exceeds 90 Kmph, the signal on the railway track will turn red and any train movement will be stopped. As per officials, the bridge can withstand winds up to 266 Kmph and its lifespan will be 120 years.
The concrete pillars of this bridge are also designed in a way that it can withstand blasts/explosions. The bridge is designed by consultants from Finland and Germany. Aside from blasts, the arch bridge is also being designed in a way that it can withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8 on the Richter Scale. 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.
According to officials part of the project, for building the arch of the bridge across the river, a novel method of construction using the cable car is being used. Two cable cars having capacity of 20 MT and 37 MT, work in tandem on cables connected to specially constructed high towers (Pylons) one on Kauri end and the other on Bakkal end across the gorge. 27,051 MT structural steel will be used for the construction of this special Bridge.