India to finish world’s highest railway bridge by 2022
The Chenab Rail Bridge will be the tallest railway bridge in the world when completed by the end of this year
- Closing the arch was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over Chenab
- The project is expected to be completed in December 2021 and will have a lifespan of 120 years
- The Chenab Bridge is part of the Indian rail link project Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla
The Indian Ministry of Railways issued a statement announcing that Indian Railways has completed construction of the steel arch of the Chenab Rail Bridge, which when completed will be the tallest railroad bridge in the world by the end of this year.
A statement said: “The closing of the arch was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over Chenab, and its completion is a big step towards completing the 111 km winding stretch from Katra to Banihal.”
“It currently takes 12 hours by road (Katra-Banihal), but once the bridge is completed, the distance by train would be cut in half,” said Ashutosh Gangal, general manager of Northern Railway.
The last 5,6 meter long piece of metal was attached at the highest point, connecting the two arms of the arch, which currently extend towards each other from both banks of the Chenab River.
The Chenab Bridge is part of India’s Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project (USBRL). The 1,315 meter long bridge will be built at a height of 359 meters. When completed, it will be the tallest railway bridge in the world and 35 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower.
The ministry also said the bridge can withstand winds of up to 266 km / h, as well as earthquakes up to eight magnitudes and high-intensity explosions.
Work on the project, which includes the construction of several bridges and tunnels along the route, began in the early 2000s but has been suspended due to construction problems. The coronavirus pandemic also contributed to the delay. The project is expected to be completed in December 2021 and will have a lifespan of 120 years.