Kashmir, Aug 14: As India gears up for the 75th Independence Day celebration, the world’s highest rail bridge over the Chenab River achieved another milestone when the overarch deck of the bridge was completed with a golden joint on Saturday. The Chenab Rail bridge is located in the Kouri area of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir.

The golden joint shall now pave the way for engineers to lay tracks on the bridge. For the first time since independence, this rail bridge will link Kashmir with the rest of India via a rail network.

To reach the location, engineers have to construct 26 km of approach roads having bridges and tunnels.

Chenab rail bridge

The engineers faced several challenges but at last gifted engineering marvel to the people of India.

Chenab rail bridge

As per the information, In the 90 days pending works of the bridge, including rail tracks, shall be completed, and by the next two years, i.e, by December 2024, the train will pass over this bridge on way to Srinagar. The work on rail tracks beyond this bridge (Bakkal) towards Srinagar is already on.

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To achieve this feat, engineers had sought technical expertise from IIT-Roorkee, IIT-Delhi, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, DRDO, national remote sensing agency, GSI, and other agencies.

This is the highest railway arch in the world. The bridge is 35 meters higher than Eiffel Tower.

The deck has been completed with the golden joint and now the track will be laid. Thereafter, trolleys will be used for trial runs. Control rooms will be set up. This project cost ₹1,450 crores.

Afcons is building 16 additional railway bridges for Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) in the dangerous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir in addition to the Chenab Bridge. All the bridges are part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project.

Another official informed that the entire 111-km Katra-Banihal rail project faced delays due to challenges like young Himalayan terrain, a tectonically active area with faults and folds.

Chenab rail bridge

Since wind velocity is higher in a Valley and the bridge structure shall create obstruction. The analysis showed that the bridge has to face the wind stress of 266 km per hour for three seconds. Then speed indicators and alarms are there on either end of the bridge. Though the area where the bridge has come up falls under the seismic zone 4 category, it has been prepared for the seismic zone 5 category.

The project is going to be the game changer in Jammu and Kashmir by integrating with the entire mainland of India and boosting the socio-economy of the UT.