REASI, APRIL 26 – Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Textiles and Railways, DarshanaVikram Jardosh visited the World’s Highest Railway Bridge, Chenab Bridge in Kashmir Valley on 25.04.2023.The Minister was accompanied by SP Mahi, CAO/USBRL and Shri RK Hedge, ED/KRCL, team of NR and KRCL officials. SP Mahi briefed about the project and explained the various features of Chenab bridge in the course of inspection of Chenab bridge.
While reviewing the project in Kashmir Valley she said the project is aimed at the development of the region and it will be also vital for the region. She said the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir to get a good Railway transportation system to remain connected to the rest of the country all year round shall be fulfilled. Hon’ble Minister also called upon the engineers working on the project to expedite the remaining portion on mission mode. She appreciated the quality of work executed.
Every day, Indian Railways is edging closer to connecting Kashmir Valley to the rest of the railway network. After successfully completing milestones of arch closure on 05.04.2021 and golden joint on 16.08.2022., the work of Track linking on Chenab Bridge which is World’s Highest Railway Bridge is completed on 21.03.2023.
Out of the Total 272 km USBRL project, 161km of Railway track has been commissioned in 3 stages with First phase of 118 km Baramulla-Quazigund commissioned in 2009, second phase of 18 km Quazigund-Banihal commissioned in 2013 which has longest operational transportation tunnel of 11.2 km in India. And Third phase of 25km Udhampur-Katra commissioned in 2014.
World’s highest railway bridge, Chenab Bridge is located on the Katra-Banihal stretch of the USBRL, which is the most challenging part of the project due to its complex topography and adverse weather conditions. A large number of tunnels and bridges are part of the alignment of the USBRL Project. The alignment crosses deep gorges of Chenab River near Salal Hydro Power Dam, which necessitates the construction of a long span bridge. For the first time since independence, USBRL will provide all-weather rail connectivity to Kashmir Valley. In view of the importance of the USBRL in providing seamless and hassle-free connectivity to Kashmir, the 272 km-long USBRL project was declared as a “National Project” in 2002.
Having a length of 1315 meters with a central arch span of 467 meters, this iconic bridge across the Chenab river is being constructed at a height of 359 meters above sea level (Higher than Qutab Minar (72m height) and Eiffel Tower (324m height), making it the tallest railway bridge on the planet. Work of construction of Chenab Bridge is awarded to Chenab Bridge Project Undertaking (AFCONS-ULTRA-VSL JV) with AFCONS as lead partner.