In pix: World’s highest railway bridge over Chenab nearing completion

The Chenab Bridge will link Kashmir valley to Jammu and the rest of the country in 2023, immensely helping the J&K economy

Chenab bridge
The Centre has declared Chenab Bridge a ‘National Project’ in view of its significance for the nation.

The highest railway bridge in the world, which is being built by Indian Railways in Jammu and Kashmir, is nearing completion. The Railways has put out a tweet showing the progress of the work at the bridge over the Chenab river in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The awe-inspiring size

The bridge between Bakkal and Kauri in Reasi district is 473.25 metres long and is being built at a height of 359 m (1,178 ft) above the Chenab; this makes it 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

It is an all-weather bridge that can resist temperatures of  -20°C and wind speeds of above 200 km/hour. The track can withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 8 on the Richter scale.

The bridge is being built as a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project (USBRL) that will connect Kashmir with the rest of the country.

Last year, the Railways completed the steel arch of Chenab Bridge, setting a major construction milestone. It is said to be the national transporter’s biggest civil engineering challenge.  The 5.6-metre final piece of metal, fitted at the highest point, links the two arch arms that stretch towards each other from the river banks. 

According to reports, the construction of Chenab Bridge called for the fabrication of 28,660 million tonnes of steel, 66,000 cu m of concrete, 10 lakh cu m of earthwork and 26 km of motorable roads. Its arch weight is 10,619 million tonnes, and consists of steel boxes. Each of the boxes is filled with concrete to improve stability.

The erection of the members of the arch was done by overhead cable cranes. Per media reports, the structural detailing was done using Tekla software. The Tekla model provides a walkthrough in the bridge, and this allows fabrication engineers to understand the complex details.

Economic boost

The Chenab Bridge will link Kashmir valley to Jammu and the rest of the country in 2023, immensely helping the J&K economy. The connectivity it will offer is seen to catalyse industrialisation and boost the movement of raw material in the region, which has been paralysed by decades of militancy.  Improved trade, tourism and employment generation are also anticipated.

The Centre has declared Chenab Bridge a ‘National Project’ in view of its significance for the nation. IIT-Delhi, IIT-Roorkee, Geographical Survey of India and DRDO are among the institutions providing expertise in project planning and implementation.

Although it has missed several deadlines, several ministers have been sharing details about the progress and beauty of it.

Here are some more images of the breathtaking beauty of the bridge.

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