Indias Mega Projects! Chenab Bridge Is All Set To Be Worlds Highest Rail Bridge

Image Credit: USBRL Project

The Logical Indian Crew

India's Mega Projects! Chenab Bridge Is All Set To Be World's Highest Rail Bridge

The Chenab bridge by the Indian Railways would provide the much-needed connectivity from Kashmir to the rest of the country. The bridge is 35-metre higher than the Eiffel Tower.

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The Chenab rail link, set to become the world's highest railway bridge, is one of India's most ambitious projects. Earlier in 2021, the majestic arch of the Chenab bridge was completed at the height of 359 metres above the river level and stood 35 metres higher than Eiffel Tower.

With this bridge, Kashmir would finally receive the much-awaited all-weather connectivity with the rest of the country. The Indian Railways is constructing the bridge as a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project (USBRL). However, the engineering marvel had already missed several deadlines owing to the terrain difficulty in the Young Fold mountains of the Himalayas.


Part of 272-km Rail Link

The project has been pegged as the world's highest link for trains, and the two arms of the arch stretch over the two banks of the treacherous Chenab. The bridge is a part of the ambitious 272-km rail link under construction of the Northern Railway at an estimated cost of ₹28,000. According to Hindustan Times, Steel was mainly chosen for the project to temperatures up to minus 20 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of 200 kilometres per hour. Moreover, using steel would have been the most economical choice. There would be a 14-metre dual carriageway and 1.2-metre-wide central wedge.

The preparation for one of India's most iconic projects began in the early 21st century, in 2002. The initial plan was to connect Kashmir's northernmost city of Baramulla to New Delhi. Back then, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Bhartiya Janata Party government had given high priority status to the project; however, it still suffered delays due to rugged terrain and contractual delays. The bridge's construction involved hefty raw material, including 28,660 metric tonnes of steel, 10 Lakh Cum Earthwork, 66,000 Cum Concrete and 26 Km motorable roads. The concrete material would be put in the steel boxes of the arch to improve stability.

Can Withstand An Earthquake of Magnitude 8

According to the official website of USBRL, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the Udhampur-Jammu section, which is 55 km long and is now open to the public. The Chenab Bridge is being constructed to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8. As per the Press Information Bureau release, this was one of the most challenging projects undertaken over the river of Chenab. The government release mentioned, "It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history." For the first time, Indian Railways have undertaken the erection of arch members by overhead cable cranes.

The marvel of Indian engineering has several noteworthy points, which include that it is designed with blast load in consultation with the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO). After removing one trestle, the bridge was designed to be operational at a speed of 30km per hour. Apart from that, extensive health monitoring and warning systems were planned throughout the construction of this state-of-the-art bridge.

There is no doubt that the Chenab Bridge is one of the most challenging projects of the Indian Railways; however, the USBRL rail link is also set to have India's longest railway tunnel of 12.75 kilometres. To date, the Pir Panjal tunnel is the longest railway tunnel at 11.215 kilometres.


Also Read: J&K Killings: Labourers, Street Vendors Among 11 Shot Dead By Terrorists In October

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