Track-laying work begins on world’s highest rail bridge in J&K’s Reasi
The 1.3km-long bridge, which is 35 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, forms a crucial link on the 111km stretch from Katra to Banihal, which is part of the ₹21,653 crore Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project
The track laying work started on the Chenab railway bridge, located 359 metres above the riverbed, in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
The 1.3km-long bridge, which is 35 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, forms a crucial link on the 111km stretch from Katra to Banihal, which is part of the ₹21,653 crore Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project.
“Another milestone in USBRL Project! Track laying work begins on Chenab Bridge. Once completed, this bridge will open up new possibilities for the remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir,” the ministry of Railways tweeted.
The base of the steel and concrete arch bridge between Bakkal and Kauri, 42km 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.
Another milestone on the bridge was achieved on August 13 last year when the overarch deck of the bridge was completed with a ‘Golden Joint’, paving way for the laying of the track.
“In next 90 days, pending works of the bridge will be completed and by next two years (by December 2024), train will cross this bridge. The work on tracks beyond this bridge (Bakkal) towards Srinagar is already on,” Surender Mahi, chief administrative officer of the Konkan Railways had then said.
As per the officials, the construction work on the bridge started in 2004 but had to be suspended in 2008-09 to consider the aspect of 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 speed up to 260 kmph and will have a lifespan of 120 years, the officials said.
Besides the highest railway bridge, the USBRL project has many firsts like the longest railway tunnel having overall length of 12.75km and first cable-stayed bridge which when completed will be an engineering marvel.
Out of the total 272km USBRL project, the 161km stretch was commissioned in phases, with the first phase of 118km Qazigund-Baramulla section being commissioned in October 2009 followed by 18km Banihal-Qazigund in June 2013 and 25km Udhampur-Katra in July 2014.