The 1,315m-long railway bridge over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, India, will soon be opened for traffic.
Claimed to be the world’s highest railway bridge, it is being constructed at a height of 359m. It is said to be 35m taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
The arch bridge between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district is 1,178ft above the riverbed and aims to serve as a key link from Katra to Banihal.
The bridge is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL), which will help link the Kashmir valley to the remaining parts of the country.
The bridge was built with a $425m (Rs350bn) investment, has completed all the mandatory tests and is ready for commissioning.
India railway, communications and electronic and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that two more trials are to be carried out, including running a motor trolley and bolero-customised rail operation on the bridge.
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The steel and concrete arch bridge’s base construction was completed in November 2017 while the main arch construction concluded in April 2021.
In August 2022, the overarch deck of the bridge was completed with the installation of a Golden Joint.
Upon completion, the bridge can withstand winds with speeds up to 266km/h and enables trains to travel at a speed of 100km/h.
Designed to withstand Zone-V earthquake forces, the seismic zone with the highest intensity in India, the bridge will be operational at a restricted speed of 30km/h, even after the removal of one pier or trestle.