The world’s highest railway bridge on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir is expected to be operational by the end of this year, according to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who inspected it this weekend.
The Chenab Bridge is the world’s highest railway bridge, rising 1,178 feet above the riverbed underneath it. According to a video posted by Indian Railways, the Chenab bridge was built as part of the grandiose ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ project, which would connect Kashmir to the rest of the country. This railway line will also benefit the armed personnel stationed in this strategically crucial location and will enhance tourism, as explained in the video.
According to the Northern Railways video, the bridge has a 2,015 km long approach road and is meant to be earthquake resistant.
Significant step towards Kashmir link
The bridge, which is being built at a cost of roughly Rs 1,400 crore, represents the most significant civil-engineering problem faced by any railway project in India in recent history. The bridge would be a significant step towards the completion of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL), popularly known as the Kashmir link.
Currently, the railway link to Kashmir consists of a 25-kilometer section from Udhampur to Katra, an 18-kilometer stretch from Banihal to Qazigund in the valley, and a 118-kilometer route from Qazigund to Baramulla. When the 111-kilometer stretch is completed, a train from Srinagar would be able to travel all the way to Kanyakumari without interruption.
Long live, the Bridge
According to ANI, the major arch was finished in April 2021, while the base was completed in November 2017. With the completion of the overarch deck in August 2022, the steel and concrete arch bridge reached a significant milestone.
According to officials, the bridge, which is 42 kilometres from Reasi town, would be able to withstand winds of up to 260 km per hour and will have a lifespan of 120 years.