The world’s tallest arched railway bridge, taller than the Eiffel Tower, will soon open in Jammu and Kashmir.
The bridge between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district is being built at a height of 359m (1,178ft) above the Chenab River, which towers 35m above the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The ₹1,486 crore bridge will boost rail connectivity with the Kashmir Valley, which the Ministry of Railways says is the biggest civil engineering challenge facing any railway project in India in recent history.
The Chenab Bridge is 473.25 meters long, with its 120 meter long viaduct and the 94.25 meter central embankment, and is supported by 96 cables. The bow weighs 10,619 MT.
The bridge is jointly designed by Viaduct & Foundations: M/s WSP (Finland); Arch: M/s Leonhart, Andra and Partners (Germany), and Foundation Protection: Indian Institute of Science Bangalore.
The construction process involved the fabrication of 28,660 MT of steel, over 10 lakh of earthwork and 66,000 cum of concrete, in addition to developing 26 km of motorable road.
The bridge is built using the most sophisticated “Tekla” software for structural details.
The Chenab Bridge is designed to withstand strong winds of up to 266 km/h. It will remain operational at a restricted speed of 30 Km/hour even after the removal of a pile/trestle.
For the first time, a Phased Array ultrasonic testing machine has been used to test welds in an Indian Railways project.
About 584 km of welding was done to join different parts of the structure, which is close to the distance between Jammu Tawi and New Delhi.
Another interesting fact about the bridge is that the height of the cable crane pylon at the end of Srinagar is 127 meters which is taller than the Qutub Minar of 72 meters.