USBRL Project achieves landmark breakthrough with completion of Tunnel T-1 between Katra and Reasi Stations

In a significant breakthrough for the Udhampur-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project, the 3209 m long Tunnel T-1 between Katra and Reasi Stations has been successfully completed. This accomplishment marks a monumental stride towards progress and enhanced connectivity.

Image Credit: Northern Railway

More Details:

The Tunnel T-1 situated at the foothills of Trikuta Hills near Katra in Reasi District, is being constructed by Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., for Northern Railway under the National Projects. This breakthrough is a pivotal milestone under the USBRL project, ensuring that all tunnels required for the project have been successfully constructed.

The Katra-Reasi stretch, covering a challenging 111 kilometres, faced multiple interruptions during construction, necessitating the involvement of global experts. Tunnel T-1, formerly recognized as the most challenging tunnel due to its passage through the Himalayan Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), presented formidable geological challenges, including rugged terrain and substantial water inflow from within the tunnel.

Image Credit: Konkan Railway

Role of the TBM:

  • The Tunnel alignment cuts across the lesser Himalayas and is characterised by highly jointed and fractured dolomite.
  • Also, a portion of about 300-350 m length cuts across a major Shear Zone known as the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT).
  • Due to the presence of shear zone coupled with high ingress of water, tunnel excavation in this stretch had been a daunting challenge.
  • In the beginning, the tunnelling was done adopting conventional NATM Tunnelling philosophy.

Image Credit: Konkan Railway
  • However, in order to tackle the visco-elastic plastic media of Main Boundary Thrust, the tunnel excavation methodology was switched over from NATM to I – System of Tunnelling by providing deep drainage pipes, Umbrella pipe roofing, chemical grouting, face bolting, sequential excavation with multiple drift, rigid support & shotcreting etc.
  • By adopting the I – System of Tunnelling, the excavation of Tunnel T1 through MBT (in Heading) has been successfully completed, thus clearing a major impediment in commissioning of the new Railway Line from Katra to Banihal.

Recent Achievements:

  • The breakthrough of this tunnel is seen as o­ne of the biggest achievements of this National Project in making the dream of connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of India a reality.
  • The completion of this tunnel is a significant achievement in the broader context of the USBRL project, which involves the construction of 38 tunnels between Katra and Banihal.
  • While all tunnels o­n this rail route have been completed, Tunnel T-1 posed the greatest obstacle, being the longest and encountering unique geological complexities.
  • The project involved meticulous planning and the application of various engineering technologies, ensuring that the 3209m long Tunnel T-1 is now successfully excavated, underscoring the commitment of Indian Railways to infrastructural progress.

Image Credit: Konkan Railway

As of today, about 318 m length of excavation in Benching and about 680m length of concrete lining is balanced. The works are in progress round the clock at full swing to complete the balance works. The Indian Railways is advancing towards connecting the Kashmir Valley to the rest of the Railway network.

Socio-economic impact of the Project:

  • Boost to tourism: Tourists can travel all over the country to visit various parts of J&K specially the valley. Better facilities for students of J&K to travel to other parts of the country for educational purposes.
  • The completion of this project will provide an all-weather and reliable connectivity to the J&K State with the rest of the country by the railway network, and also provide connectivity by rail to far flung areas of J&K which will result in overall economic development of the state.

Image Credit: Konkan Railway
  • Construction of Access Roads – More than 160 Km approach road to work sites are being constructed, these roads will provide connectivity to far-flung villages and will connect them to the mainstream.

This landmark achievement underscores the commitment of Indian Railways to Infrastructural progress and holds promises for improved connectivity, economic development, and enhanced travel opportunities for the region.

Source: Northern Railway- Press Release | Featured Image Credit: Konkan Railway