Two years from now the Chenab river of Jammu & Kashmir will have a bridge , which will be much taller than the Eiffel tower.
It will be the world’s tallest rail bridge, surpassing China’s 275m Shuibai structure over the Beipan river. It will be taller than Eiffel Tower by 35 metres.
The 1.3 km long “engineering marvel” will connect Bakkal in Jammu’s Katra and Kauri in Srinagar. The arch-shaped 35-metre tall structure is being constructed at a cost of 1,110 crores. The bridge will be a crucial link that connects the Kashmir valley to the rest of the country, part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
“The construction of the bridge is the most challenging part of the Kashmir rail link project and once completed, it will be an engineering marvel,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.
Steel was the material of choice to construct the humongous structure as it is more economical and able to resist temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of above 250 kmph.
The Railways will also install sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity: as soon as the wind speed exceeds 90 kmph, the signal on the track will turn red, preventing train movement.
In order to enhance safety and security, the bridge will be made of 63 mm thick special blast-proof steel as the Jammu and Kashmir region is prone to frequent terror attacks.
The concrete pillars of the bridge will be designed to withstand explosions and painted with a special corrosion- resistant paint, which lasts for 15 years.
According to the plan, a ring of aerial security will be provided to safeguard the bridge. An online monitoring and warning system will be installed on the bridge to protect the passengers and train in critical conditions. Footpaths and cycle trails will be built adjacent to it.
It is expected to contribute to the economic development of the state and help in improving accessibility.