Whether or not you carry luggage when you get on the train that will run between Udhampur and Baramulla, a new railway line promoted by the Indian Government to improve the country’s connections with Jammu and Kashmir, is the least of it. The important thing is that you do not travel with vertigo. at least if you want avoid a bad drink. As part of the route, the Indian authorities are building the highest railway bridge in the world, a steel structure over a kilometer that rises no more and no less than 359 m above the Chenab River.
The new viaduct, which takes its name from the river on which it rises, measures a total of 1,315 meters long and 13 meters wide and incorporates 28,660 metric tons of steel. The figures handled by Financial Express suggest that its cost will be around 27,949 million rupees, about 313 million euros. These are curious facts, but if it stands out for something, it is because of its height. As local authorities frequently emphasize, it is the tallest structure of its kind ever built.
Their 359 meters high They have already led some to draw comparisons. For example, to the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Indian government, which recently stressed that the viaduct will exceed the famous Eiffel Tower by 35 m.
Not suitable for travelers with vertigo
If we bring the similes to a national terrain, we could say that when they circulate through the Chenab bridge the trains will advance at a height equivalent to a PwC tower and a half. “For the first time in the world, with the help of the DRDO, this bridge has been made explosion-proof,” claims.
These are not the only data that the authorities have been revealing about the viaduct, which runs between Bakkal and Kauri —in the Reasi district— and forms part of the ambitious project of the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway connection, better known by its initials: “USBRL”.
As detailed in Railway Technolohy, the infrastructure has been designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 260 km/h and incorporates steel precisely because of its resistance. With the purpose of strengthen your security to the maximum, both the concrete pillars and the structure were raised so that it could withstand explosions and earthquakes of magnitude eight on the Richter scale. At the time of raising it, the seismicity that is registered in the area was also attended.
During the construction, 25,000 tons of steel, 4,000 of reinforced steel, 46,000 cubic meters of concrete were used, and considerable waste was carried out. The design of the foundations involved everything “an engineering challenge”in the words of Indian Railways, and the work itself was marked by complications.
The works had to be carried out in an isolated and complicated area and avoiding a possible obstruction of the river. To reach the foundations of the viaduct, the workers had to build five kilometer access roads. The authorities expect it to be open by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.
Technical curiosities and railway records aside, if the bridge is important for the role it will play in the internal communications from India. Both the viaduct and the JUSBRL complex – a connection of several hundred kilometers – seek to improve mobility, especially with the Jammu and Kashmir region, offering an alternative to the winding Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which is even closed in winter.
About 161 km of the 272 km Udhampur-Baramulla section has already been completed, Railway Technology said, and work is progressing on the remaining 11 km section between Katra and Banihal. Throughout its extensive route, the infrastructure contemplates the construction of several bridges and tunnels, which will also include reference structures for India.
few will be comparables however with the Chenab bridge.
And few will also make it so difficult for passengers with vertigo.
Images: Wikipedia and Ashwini Vaishnaw (Twitter)
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