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Home » 94 % deck laid over world’s highest railway bridge on Chenab river

94 % deck laid over world’s highest railway bridge on Chenab river

94 % deck laid over world’s highest railway bridge on Chenab river

The 111-kilometre-long Katra-Banihal section of Indian Railways’ Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project will have seven stopping stations, while 94 per cent of the deck has been placed over the Chenab Bridge) tallest in the world.

Work to support the cables is being laid on India’s first cable-stayed rail at Anji Khad. The project will be operational in 2023, an official said.

According to officials, work on the intervening 111 kilometres of the Katra-Banihal section continues at full speed despite the challenging and inhospitable terrain.

The authorities said that for the convenience of commuters and local people in the Reasi and Ramban districts, a total of seven railway stations have been approved in the section.

“Four railway stations including Reasi, Salal-A, Dugga and Basindadhar will be established in the jurisdiction of Reasi district while the remaining three namely Sangaldan, Sumber and Arpinchala will be established in Ramban district,” the official said, adding: “Some of these stations are partially located in tunnels or on bridges or both.”

Also, the Arpinchala station in Ramban is almost complete, while the work on the other stations continues at a fast pace,” he said.

Railway recently achieved a major milestone by traversing the T-48 escape tunnel on the Katra-Banihal section USBRL project.

Northern Railway General Manager Ashutosh Gangal reviewed the pace and status of work at a high-level meeting in Delhi.

“The line and level of the exhaust tunnel are precisely achieved in advance. T-48 is a 6,000-mile-long, 17-foot-diameter, modified horseshoe-shaped escape tunnel,” said Deepak Kumar, Director of Public Relations for Railways.

He further said that the tunnel is a link between Sumber station and Sangaldan station. This advancement of the tunnel will be a key milestone for the entire USBRL Project. Nearly 90 per cent of the work has been completed on-site in different sections.

“The section has 38 tunnels, including Tunnel T-49 with a length of 12.77 km, with a combined length of 119 km, of which 160.52 km of the tunnel have been executed (95.47 km main and 65.05 Km of exhaust tunnel) totalling 80 per cent progress of tunnelling work. Tunnel lining work is proceeding at a fast pace,” the official said.

The other works such as the construction of portals tunnel ventilation and signalling and telecommunications works are also underway simultaneously.

Similarly, the section has 927 major and minor bridges totalling 13 kilometres in length, including the iconic Chenab Bridge.

“The bridge sits 359 meters above the riverbed and work on the main arch of the bridge was completed in April 2021, officials said. Adding, “1,238 meters of the 1,315-meter platform has already been completed, so more than 94 per cent of the platform placement work has been completed.”

Another important structure, Anji Bridge across Anji Khad, will be India’s first cable-stayed railway bridge.

“The main pillar has been erected and the deck work has been completed. Work continues to moor the deck with cables tied to the main pier,” they said.

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It was also reported that the railway is undertaking ballastless construction to reduce the carbon footprint in the Himalayas.

“The already operational 136 km Banihal-Baramulla railway line is being electrified. This move will help phase out the use of fossil fuels in the operation of trains in the Kashmir Valley. This will not only reduce the cost of running the train, it will reduce the carbon footprint and project the Railways as a sustainable and green mass transit system,” the officials said.

“The electrification work of the Banihal-Budgam section is complete and the work up to Baramulla is expected to be finished by October 2022.

Expressing satisfaction with the progress of the work, Gangal called for the construction work of the project to be completed as soon as possible so that the Kashmir valley is connected to the rest of India through the Indian Railways network.

Pertinently, Northern Railway (NR) Manager Ashutosh Gangal visited Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta in March this year and briefed him on the status of ongoing work at USBRL.

GM Northern Railway briefed the Principal Secretary on works that have been completed or are nearing completion, works in progress and meeting deadlines to dedicate the project to the people as soon as possible.

The Principal Secretary was informed that the Kashmir Valley is expected to connect with Jammu and the rest of the country during 2023, providing efficient connectivity to the Kashmir Valley with other parts of the country by rail.

In addition, the USBRL is a 272 km long rail link project being built at a cost of Rs 28,000 crore in the northern rail area. The project will connect Kashmir with the rest of India and is expected to be completed by 2023. The 272-kilometre sections Quazigund-Baramulla (118 km) and Banihal-Quazigund (18 km) and Udhampur-Katra (25 km) have already has been commissioned.

The 111-kilometer-long Katra-Banihal section is under construction.

In addition to the Chenab Bridge, the USBRL rail link will also have the longest rail tunnel in India (T-49) at 12.75 kilometres. The Pirpanjal tunnel (11,215 km), the longest rail tunnel to date, is also part of the USBRL project and has already been commissioned.

Another engineering marvel under construction is the Anji Bridge, which will be the first cable-stayed bridge for Indian Railways. The bridge is being built over Anjikhad, a tributary of the Chenab River.

With inputs from KNO

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