Historic day for Indian Railways! Taking a major leap towards the completion of the 111 kilometre long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal, today the Northern Railway zone has completed the Arch closure of the world’s highest railway bridge, Chenab Bridge in Jammu and Kashmir. The iconic Chenab Bridge is a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link (USBRL) project and the completion of the steel arch was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over Chenab. Today, the last piece of metal of 5.6 metres was fitted at the highest point and joined the arch’s two arms that stretch towards each other currently from both the river banks. This completed the arch shape that will then loom over the treacherous Chenab river, flowing below some 359 metres. Here are some salient features of the Arch of the Chenab Bridge:
- The iconic Arch Bridge on River Chenab is being constructed by Indian Railways as a part of the USBRL project to link the Kashmir valley to the rest of India.
- The iconic bridge is 1315 metres long and is the world’s highest railway bridge being 359 metres above the river bed level.
- The Arch of the Chenab Bridge will be 35 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
- Bridge construction involved the fabrication of 28,660 million tonnes steel, 10 lakh cum earthwork, 66,000 cum concrete as well as 26 kilometres motorable roads.
- The Arch comprises of steel boxes. In order to improve stability, concrete will be filled in boxes of the Arch.
- The overall weight of Arch is 10,619 million tonnes.
- For the first time, erection of the members of the arch by overhead cable cranes done on the Indian Railways network.
- For structural detailing, the most sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software was used.
- Structural steel is suitable for temperature from -10°C to 40°C.