Photograph Courtesy: Ojhayogesh/Wikimedia Commons
India’s northernmost state Jammu and Kashmir is often in the news for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is on account of its breathtaking beauty and its reputation as one of the most stunning tourist places in the world. Other times, it is on account of the unrest in certain parts of the state. However, the state is currently making waves due to a remarkable feat by the Indian Railways. The Chenab Railway Bridge being built on the river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir is entering a crucial phase of construction. The Railways has launched the main arch of the phenomenal bridge which is one of the most ambitious projects in the country right now. What makes this bridge special is that it will be the world’s tallest rail bridge. Here are some interesting facts about the Chenab Railway Bridge that you must know:
The Chenab Railway bridge will provide direct connectivity to the enchanting Kashmir valley which is not the most accessible area right now. It will form a vital link on a 111-km long stretch between the popular Katra and Banihal which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project . The total length of the bridge will be 1,315 metres.
Chenab Railway bridge will rise 359 metres above the bed of the river Chenab making it the world’s tallest rail bridge. It will be 5 times higher than Delhi’s Qutub Minar and 35 metres higher than the Eiffel tower in Paris.
Qutub Minar in Delhi
Once the bridge is complete, the rail journey from Jammu to Srinagar will only take 5 hours, which now takes about 11 hours by road. This is a dream come true for both Kashmir locals and travellers willing to explore the majestic valley.
The construction of this rail bridge began way back in 2004 but hit some road bumps along the way. Now, with the inauguration of installations of main arch between two sides of the bridge, completion of construction looks closer than ever before. This installation is a major feat as it involves the world longest cable crane arrangement to carry heavy segments from the Kauri end and Bakkal end.
Photograph: Twitter/ RailMinIndia
According to Railway officials, more than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge by May 2019. Once functional, the bridge will be able to withstand wind speeds of 260 kmph. Its life span will be 120 years and trains will run at a top speed of 100 kmph.
Well, what can we say? We are as excited as anybody for this bridge to be functional soon. Can you imagine the views it will take you through enroute Banihal from Katra?!