“This was one of the most difficult parts"
Indian Railways has made history by fitting the highest point of the arch of the world’s highest railway bridge.
The unique achievement came on Monday, April 5, 2021, after the last piece of metal measuring 5.6 metres was fitted into Chenab Rail Bridge.
The metal piece closed the gap between the two arms of the arch. The two arms meet each other from both banks of the Chenab River.
Chenab Rail Bridge is 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower. The bridge runs over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district.
According to Northern Railway General Manager Ashutosh Gangal, the bridge section of the railway is expected to be completed within a year.
Speaking at the work site in Reasi, Gangal said:
“It is a historic day for the Northern Railways and a milestone in the completion of the USBRL project, connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country.
“The project will be completed within two and a half years.”
Monday, April 5, 2021, marked the completion of the arch on the world’s highest railway bridge, which stands 359 metres above the Chenab riverbed.
As part of the Udhampur-Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project, the world’s highest bridge is being constructed at a cost of £146,000.
The aim of the 1.3 kilometre-long bridge is to allow for an increase in connections between the Kashmir Valley and the rest of the nation.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal watched the achievement via a video link from Delhi.
Speaking of watching the arch being lowered by cable crane, Goyal said in a statement:
“This was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over Chenab.
“This achievement is a major leap towards the completion of the 11km-long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal.
“It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history.”
Goyal’s statement added:
“After completion of the arch work, removal of the stay cables, filling of the concrete in the arch rib, erection of the steel trestle, launching of the viaduct and track laying work will be taken up.”
More than 28,000 metres of steel and 66,000 cubic metres of concrete are involved in the construction of Chenab Rail Bridge.
According to Piyush Goyal, ‘Tekla’ software was used for the bridge’s structural detailing.
He also said that the steel is suitable for temperatures of -10°C and 40°C.