By 2016, India to get world’s highest railway bridge, taller than Eiffel tower

Indian labourers at site in the Himalayas working on the world's highest railway bridge. (AFP Photo)
By 2016, India will have world's highest railway bridge in Himalayas and guess what it will be taller than the Eiffel tower.

As per reports, the bridge is expected to be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel tower.

As per reports, the bridge will be an arch-shaped steel structure over the Chenab River and will connect the picturesque mountainous region of northern Jammu & Kashmir.

Knowing more about the bridge:

  • Bridge is expected to be 359 metres (1,177 feet) high.
  • World's current tallest railway bridge is over the Beipanjiang River in China's Guizhou province, which is 275 metres high.
  • It will be designed to withstand seismic activities and high wind speeds in the region.
  • This project is being handled by the Konkan Railway Corporation.
  • The estimated cost of the project is $92 million.
  • The bridge will connect Baramulla to Jammu in the Himalayan state with a travel time of six-and-a-half hours, almost half the time it currently takes.
  • As per an AFP report, the main arch is being erected using two cable cranes attached on either side of the river which are secured on enormous steel pylons.

Problems in construction:

In 2002, work on the bridge started but few concerns like safety and feasibility, including the area's strong winds, saw halted the project in 2008. Two years later the project started again.

The bridge will be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel tower

Almost 25,000 tonnes of steel will be used to construct the 1,315-metre long bridge. Maximum material has to be transported by helicopters due to the tough terrain in the region. And not only this, to reach the foundations of the bridge, approach roads had to be constructed.

A railway official was quoted as saying to AFP, "One of the biggest challenges involved was constructing the bridge without obstructing the flow of the river. It is an engineering marvel. We hope to get this bridge ready by December 2016. "

This development would give a major boost to the Indian Railways that has been facing severe problems to correct its flawed plan for crossing the Himalayan barrier. Railways has so far been criticised for taking half-hearted measures to take corrective actions for the same. It faces a daunting task of preventing the loss incurred due to construction failures and excessive delays in meeting the deadlines in the region.

Another key sector in which the Railways need to pay utmost attention is safety and security of such bridges in the militancy-hit Kashmir.

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