Indian Railways on Monday (6 April) completed the arch closure of the iconic Chenab Bridge, the world’s highest railway bridge and a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
In a statement, the Railway Ministry said that this was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over the Chenab and this achievement is a major leap towards the completion of the 111-km-long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal.
“It is arguably the biggest civil engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history. The 5.6-metre last piece of metal was fitted at the highest point today and joined the two arms of the arch that currently stretch towards each other from both the banks of the river,” the Ministry of Railways statement said.
This completed the shape of the arch that will then loom over the treacherous Chenab, flowing some 359 metres below.
“After completion of the arch work, removal of the stay cables, filling of the concrete in the arch rib, erection of the steel trestle, launching of the viaduct and track laying work will be taken up,” the statement said.
The completion of the historic arch work was also seen by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Railway Board Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma and General Manager, Northern Railway, Ashutosh Gangal, through video conferencing.
“This bridge is 1,315 metres long and the highest railway bridge in the world being 359 metres above the river bed level. It will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris,” the Ministry said.
According to the Railways Ministry, the Salient Features of the Arch of the iconic Chenab Bridge are:
- This bridge is 1315m long.
- This is the highest Railway Bridge in the world being 359m above the river bed level.
- It will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France).
- Construction of Bridge involved fabrication of 28,660 MT steel, 10 Lakh Cum Earthwork, 66,000 Cum Concrete and 26 Km motorable roads.
- The arch of the bridge 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.