NFR is constructing the tallest railway girder bridge of the world, in Manipur across the valley of the river Ijai near Noney. The bridge is part of a new broad gauge line to connect the northeastern state with the rest of the country
Indian Railways steps up the game – prepares to reach greater heights! The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) – headquartered in Maligaon, Guwahati in the state of Assam, is constructing the tallest railway girder bridge of the world, in Manipur at 141 metres surpassing the existing record of 139 metre Mala-Rijeka viaduct, at Montenegro in Europe. The bridge at Manipur is part of a new broad gauge line being constructed to connect the northeastern state with the rest of the country and the pillars have already been built. The NFR railway zone is responsible for rail operations in the entire Northeast and parts of West Bengal and Bihar.
NFR Senior Public Relations Officer, S K Ojah was quoted in a PTI report saying that the bridge is expected to surpass the existing record of the tallest girder bridge at 139 metre of Mala-Rijeka viaduct, Montenegro in Europe. It is being constructed across the valley of the river Ijai near Noney with a pier height of 141 metre. The bridge is a part of the 111-km long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge line project in Manipur. The total length of the bridge will be almost 703 metre. There are a total of 45 tunnels in the bridge project. The longest is Tunnel No. 12 with a length of 10.280 km.
The piers of the bridge are constructed using hydraulic augers. The tall piers needed a specially designed ‘slip-form technique’ to ensure efficient and continual construction. The steel girders are pre-fabricated in a workshop which will be transported in segments which will further be erected at the site. ‘Self-erecting’ electric lifts are used at each pier for the safe and speedy conveyance of men and materials to the top. NFR officials told Financial Express Online that the bridge will be provided 24×7 security cover with personnel posted at the site and it will be earthquake-proof. The bridge will also benefit the crucial freight movement. According to Indian Railways, the bridge is designed to carry almost 25 ton axle-load freight trains.
A railway network that reaches and connects the seven sister states of North-East has always been acknowledged as a daunting and challenging task. But, to build the world’s tallest girder railway bridge in the Himalayan ranges, is truly a remarkable feat. The bridge will be almost twice as high as Qutab Minar. The project picked momentum owing to its status of a national project. The final cost of the bridge is likely to be around Rs 400 crore while the cost of the complete project is estimated at Rs 13,800 crore.