Indian Railways has shared some breathtaking photographs of the Chenab bridge which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL). The images show the arch of under-construction Chenab bridge towering over a sea of clouds amidst the backdrop of sunset. Another pic shows the bridge drenched in bright sunlight with a crystal clear blue sky backdrop. Take a look at these images:
The bridge falls under the Katra-Banihal stretch of the USBRL and it is the most challenging part of the project due to its difficult topography and weather conditions.
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Chenab bridge is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history. Once completed, it will the highest railways arch bridge in the world. Here are some of the salient features of the Chenab Rail Bridge:
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– This bridge is 1315m long
– This is the highest Railway Bridge in the world being 359 m above the river bed level
– It will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France)
– Bridge designed to withstand high wind speed up to 266 Km/Hour
– Bridge will remain operational at restricted speed of 30 Km/Hour even after removal of one pier/trestle
– Bridge designed to bear earthquake forces of highest intensity zone-V in India
– Arch consists of steel boxes. Concrete will be filled in boxes of the Arch to improve stability
– Overall weight of Arch is 10,619 MT
– Erection of the members of arch by overhead cable cranes done for first time on Indian Railways
– The most sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software used for structural detailing
– Structural steel suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature
Construction of Bridge involved fabrication of 28,660 MT steel, 10 Lakh Cum Earthwork, 66,000 Cum Concrete and 26 Km motorable roads. Dr. Ratnakar Mahajan, Technical Manager, Maccaferri India which is involved with the project told Financailexpress.com how this project is also an example for sustainable construction which is one of its first kind in the railways. “With the use of RS technology, Maccaferri India has offered a solution for embankment design, highlighting the 10 Lakh Cum Earthwork and 66,000 Cum Concrete. Although these structures are more often used when building roadways, they have never before been built at this height for railway infrastructure. This RS embankment serves as the immediate support for the railroad track,” Mahajan said.
“The traditional approach would have been to construct a bridge and a reinforced cement concrete (RCC) wall simultaneously, which calls for a substantial foundation. Therefore, it is advisable to use hybrid constructions that incorporate soil nails and geogrids. A RCC wall’s construction also leaves a substantial carbon footprint on the environment. The location’s proximity to a train station necessitated a larger space, a deeper foundation, and the location is in a high seismic zone, thus traditional construction methods were not recommended. The cost and carbon emissions would have been much higher if a conventional approach had been taken. The project also employed the environmentally friendly technique of utilising tunnel muck, or soil gathered after the tunnelling operations. These RS buildings were constructed out of more than 2 lakh cubic metres of tunnel muck,” Mahajan added.
Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail link Project (USBRL) having length of 272 Km long Railway Line from Udhampur to Baramulla joining the Kashmir valley with rest of the country is a National Project. The work on intervening stretch of Katra-Banihal section (111 km) is in progress and this section predominantly involves tunnelling work. Once completed, the USBRL will provide all weather rail connectivity to the Kashmir Valley from rest of India.