The Chenab Rail Bridge under construction could be completed by end of the year. Indian Railway has confirmed that it has completed construction of the steel arch of the iconic bridge. This bridge will be the highest railway bridge of the world after its completion.
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This 1,315-meter-long bridge is the part of India’s Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL). It is being built at the height of 359 meters.
Once finished, this will be 35 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower and highest rail bridge in the world.
Bridge construction started in the early 2000, but some construction challenges came up. This construction was suspended due to some hurdles. The pandemic also delayed it.
Now, this project is expected to be completed by 2022. This bridge will have a lifespan of 120 years.
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According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Railway:
“The Arch closure was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over Chenab and its completion is a major leap towards the completion of the 111 km-long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal.”
“At present it takes 12 hours via road (Katra-Banihal), but after completion of the bridge, distance via train would be halved,” Northern Railway general manager Ashutosh Gangal said.
The last metal piece (5.6 meter) was fitted at the highest point joining the arch’s arms. These two arms of the arch stretch towards each other from both banks of the river currently.
“This completed the shape of the arch that will then loom over the treacherous Chenab, flowing some 359 meters below,” the ministry said.
It added that, “After the 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.”
The railway ministry also confirmed that this bridge will resist earthquakes, high intensity blasts and winds up to 266 kmph.