The distinctive and iconic arch of what is soon to be the world’s highest railway bridge being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir is almost ready. Almost three years after construction began; the Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Thursday tweeted about its progress. Calling it an infrastructural marvel, Goyal shared a photo of the steel arch of the railway bridge over the Chenab River in J&K's Reasi district, which is nearing completion.
"Infrastructural Marvel in Making: Indian Railways is well on track to achieve another engineering milestone with the steel arch of Chenab bridge reaching closure position. It is all set to be the world's highest Railway bridge," Goyal tweeted.
Infrastructural Marvel in Making: 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 Railway bridge pic.twitter.com/yWS2v6exiP
Being constructed to withstand an earthquake of 8 magnitude, this railway bridge is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail project. Slated to complete by March 2021, the Rs 1,250-crore bridge, which is 359 metres above the Chenab riverbed, stands 35 metres taller than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The total length of this bridge is about 1.3 kilometres. The main arch of this bridge is 485 m (1,591 ft) in diameter. The height of its tallest pillar is 133.7 meters (about 439 feet). There are a total of 17 pillars in this bridge. The total length of this railway project from Udhampur to Baramulla is about 326 kilometres.
A total of 25,000 metric tonnes of steel have been installed to build this bridge. This bridge can also tolerate wind running at 266 km/h. The steel used in building this bridge can also withstand high-intensity blasts. Trains can run at a maximum speed of 100 kilometres per hour on this bridge.
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
The bridge will prove to be a key link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project. The Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Line will give a massive boost to the transportation sector in Jammu & Kashmir. The construction which began in 2004 was halted in 2008-09 owing to the safety of rail passengers due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area.
India's Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is closely working with the Konkan Railways on this project. The arch bridge is a part of an ambitious railway project connecting Kashmir to the rest of India. Work on putting the main arch began in November 2017.