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Business News/ News / India/  World's highest railway bridge in J-K to be operational soon

World's highest railway bridge in J-K to be operational soon

Jammu and Kashmir: The world's highest railway bridge has passed all mandatory tests, however, two more will take place today.

Workers give final touches to the Railway Bridge on the Chenab river before its trial on March 26, in Reasi, Friday, March 24, 2023. (PTI)Premium
Workers give final touches to the Railway Bridge on the Chenab river before its trial on March 26, in Reasi, Friday, March 24, 2023. (PTI)

In Jammu and Kashmir, the world's highest railway bridge over the Chenab river will soon get operational for rail traffic. It spans the Chenab River at a height of 359 m (1,178 ft) above the river, which is 35 meters taller than Paris' Eiffel Tower.

The arch bridge between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir is 1,178 feet above the riverbed, forming a crucial link from Katra to Banihal, according to the news agency ANI. 

The bridge is a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL), a dream project worth 35000 crore. The bridge has passed all the mandatory tests, and it is near completion at present as the incumbent regime laid a special focus on the project worth 1400 crore.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir will get the bridge after two decades of waiting since the project was approved in 2003 but was delayed shortly due to fears of stability and safety. In 2008, the contract for constructing one of the highest railway bridges was awarded by the then government.

With the passage of time, the construction of the bridge was started again, however, it missed several deadlines. Now, all the mandatory tests have been conducted successfully, ANI reported. 

The tests that have been conducted to check the stability and safety of the world's highest bridge include high-velocity winds test, extreme temperatures test, earthquake-prone test, and hydrological impacts due to water level increase.

Officials stated that the railway bridge is ready for commissioning and the track lane work has been started over the bridge.

Union Minister of Railway, Communications and Electronic and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, who visited the bridge for an inspection on Saturday said that two more tests are to be conducted tomorrow, which include running a motor trolley and bolero customized rail operation on the bridge.

The base of the steel and concrete arch bridge, 42 kilometers from Reasi town, was completed in November 2017, allowing for the start of the construction of the main arch which was done in April 2021, as per ANI reports. 

The milestone on the bridge was achieved in August last year when the overarch deck of the bridge was completed with a Golden Joint', paving way for the laying of the track.

The construction work on the bridge started in 2004 but had to be suspended in 2008-09 to consider the aspect of the safety of rail passengers in view of frequent high-velocity winds in the area.

Once completed, the bridge will be able to withstand winds with speeds up to 260 kmph and will have a lifespan of 120 years, the officials said.

Reportedly, the construction of the highest railway bridge was the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history.


(With ANI inputs)

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Published: 26 Mar 2023, 07:06 AM IST
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