India Is The Land To The World’s Highest Rail Bridge

India Is The Land To The World’s Highest Rail Bridge

With each passing day, India is reaching new heights in terms of the mega developments in both financial as well as in infrastructural sectors. Well, it would not be wrong to conclude that under the leadership of the current government, India is becoming the synonym to growth & progress. I mean, a decade ago how many of us could have imagined that one day the World’s Highest Rail Bridge (Chenab Rail Bridge – 2022) or the World’s Highest Airbase (Daulat Beg Oldi – 2019) would have been developed in India? Well, this is result when a nation chooses a right government with full majority as only a strong government can dare to take up such mega projects!

Today, India is ready with the world’s highest rail bridge, which is built over the Chenab River in the northern most state of Jammu & Kashmir. The ‘Chenab Rail Bridge’ is a steel and concrete arch bridge between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir, India. The bridge spans the Chenab River at a height of 359 m (1,178 feet) above the river, making it the world’s highest rail bridge. In November 2017, the base supports were declared completed allowing for the start of the construction of the main arch. The bridge was fully completed and was inaugurated in August 2022. In April 2021, the Chenab Rail Bridge’s arch was completed and the overall bridge was completed in August 2022. It is expected to open to rail traffic in December 2022.

Well, that was the brief story behind the construction of this iconic mega project of India – the Chenab Rail Bridge, also the world’s highest rail bridge. The Chenab Rail Bridge is a dynamic bridge that is even taller than the ‘Eiffel Tower’ of Paris. It is interesting to note that the height of the Chenab Rail Bridge is 359 meters whereas that of the famous Eiffel Tower is 324 meters, which makes this bridge 35 meters taller than the famous tower of Paris. As, the citizens of India we need to have certain key information with regards to the world’s highest rail bridge that is built in our own nation, such as –

  • Deck height (height above river bed): 359 m (1,178 feet)
  • Height above river surface: 322 m (1,056 feet)
  • Bridge length: 1,315 m (4,314 feet), including the 650 m (2,130 feet) long viaduct on the northern side
  • Arch span: 467 m (1,532 feet)
  • Arch length: 480 m (1,570 feet)

Interestingly, all these factors makes the Chenab Rail Bridge to be the world’s highest railway bridge. Moreover, the bridge is constructed with the longest span in the 5 feet 6 inches (1,676 mm) broad gauge railway network. The Chenab Rail Bridge is designed to withstand Zone-V earthquakes, 266 km/hr wind speed, and high-intensity blasts. Built at the cost of ₹ 1,486 Crore (USD 190 million), the bridge will have a lifespan of 120 years!

To achieve this feat, technical expertise from IIT-Roorkee, IIT-Delhi, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, DRDO, national remote sensing agency, GSI and other agencies were borrowed. The good news is that even after the various kinds of challenges that occurs in the Himalayan terrain, this mega project is now finally completed. This mega project is a true symbol of the engineering marvel that India has achieved over the years. No matter how much we appreciate the efforts of the workers, still no amount of words can compensate for the efforts made by them 24*7. Finally, a big salute to the Modi Government for teaching us to dream big and turning the impossible into the possible.   

Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).

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