India to get world’s highest railway bridge by December 2021

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The government has set a fresh deadline for completion of the world’s highest railway bridge, coming up over river Chenab in Reasi district of Jammu, by December 2021. The bridge is expected to be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower.

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  • It was most challenging project in the post-independent history of the Indian Railways, Konkan Railway said.
  • Konkan Railway Chairman Mr. Sanjay Gupta said,”It is most challenging task in the 150-year-long history of the railways. The highest railway bridge in the world, connecting Kashmir with rest of the country through rail line will be completed by December 2021.”
  • He said,”The construction of the bridge is the most challenging part of the Kashmir rail link project undertaken post independence and, once completed, it will be an engineering marvel.”
  • He added that the massive arch-shaped structure, being constructed in hostile terrain, have used over 5,462 tonnes of steel.
  • Designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 260 kmph, the 1.315-km-long “engineering marvel” will connect Bakkal (Katra) and Kauri (Srinagar).
  • The bridge forms a crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal, which is part of the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
  • Once completed, it will surpass the record of the Beipan river Shuibai railway bridge (275 m) in China.
  • Mr. Gupta said that the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project is highly essential to provide an alternative and a reliable transportation system to Jammu and Kashmir to join Kashmir Valley to the Indian Railways network.
  • In view of the importance of this project in providing seamless and hassle-free connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir, the project was declared as national project in 2002, he added.

Unique Features of Chenab Bridge:

  • Highest Railway Bridge in the world at 359 m.
  • Cable crane assembly including pylons at span of 915 meters is the longest in the world. The pylon at height of 127m is higher than Qutub Minar of 72 m.
  • First time on the Globe, Bridge has been designed for Blast Load in consultation with DRDO.
    • Redundancy Kept in Design
    • Removal of one pier/trestle
    • Bridge shall not collapse and remains operational at 30kmph
  • Bridge remains repairable
  • For the first time in the country, launching of plate girder by pushing from one end of the curve of 2.74 degrees has been successfully completed (Overall length of curvilinear portion is 268 m).
  • First time on Indian Railways, use of Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing machine for inspection of welds in bridges in India.
  • Chenab site lab has been accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Laboratories) for testing of welded elements for the first time on Indian Railways.
  • Highest structural steel pier at 130.855 M at S-40 foundation, which is higher than Qutub Minar of 72m.

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