Home » Chenab Rail Bridge, World’s Highest Rail Bridge, Photos, Location

Chenab Rail Bridge, World’s Highest Rail Bridge, Photos, Location

by Nomad Saikat faviconNomad Saikat
22 minutes read
Chenab Rail Bridge

There is absolutely no end for development and developmental projects. And India as a country is adding new feathers to the hat with the path breaking development projects in the recent days. These constructions are surely going to be historic and revolutionary as it aims to take the country to a position much higher than it presently is. And no wonder these developments are making headlines and attracting so much attention. One such project is the Chenab Rail Bridge. It is a concrete arch bridge with a single track railway line and it is all set to be the world’s highest rail bridge as well. Now that itself is one of the groundbreaking facts about this rail bridge. A lot of planning, execution and effort went behind this construction. Very soon it will be open to see trains running on it and seriously it’s hard to wait longer.

Chenab Rail Bridge

The project of this rail bridge was a challenging one and because of the height and the length of this bridge it certainly was a difficult construction. But currently it is all ready and set to be functional. With a variety of checks and security concerns the rail bridge is absolutely ready. The construction took as long as 20 years almost since the time of project approval. And the construction of the rail bridge proved how good things take time. And after all that waiting, trains are all set to run on it soon. Other than being the highest bridge in the word it is further going to be the longest railway arch bridge too. So if you want to know more about the Chenab Rail Bridge then keep on reading this article. Here I will mention everything that you need to know about the Chenab Rail Bridge.

Chenab Rail Bridge location: Raesi District, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir

Chenab Rail Bridge view
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Overview of Chenab Rail Bridge

The steel and concrete single track Chenab Rail Bridge is that architectural marvel that is going to be a path breaking development in the country. Located between Bakkal and Kauri in the Jammu Division of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, this is the world’s highest rail bridge. The Chenab Rail Bridge height is 1178 feet or 357 meters and passes above the Chenab River. What makes it even more special is that the bridge is even taller than the architectural marvel of Paris, the famous Eiffel Tower. In the history of railway projects in India this is definitely one of the biggest challenges of civil engineering. Furthermore the Chenab Rail Bridge length is 1315 meters that includes the 650 meters viaduct on the north.

This bridge is a part of the 35000 crore project of Udhampur- Srinagar- Baramulla Railway Link Project. The main aim behind this project is to provide and boost connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir. In itself however the Chenab Rail Bridge cost is approximately around 14,000 crore. The project of this rail bridge is a part of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Project that aims at connecting Kashmir well with the other states in the country.

Constructed by the Afcons Infrastructure this bridge is designed by Konkan Railways, DRDO and Afcons Infrastructure. The project that was proposed in 2004 is declared as a National Project of Northern Railway. In the highly rugged terrain of mountainous landscape it was a challenge to construct this bridge. To cross the deep gorge of the Chenab River was also yet another challenge in the way of the construction. Furthermore the bridge also lies in the seismic zone IV. Therefore it was mandatory for the bridge to sustain high intensity earthquakes up to a magnitude of 8 along with a wind speed of 260 km per hour.

Train to Chenab Rail Bridge

History of Chenab Rail Bridge

The project first got its approval in 2004 and later it received the contract of construction in 2008. The construction originally was to be completed by 2009. But for a long period of time the construction stopped due to security issues and the fear about the stability of the bridge. Later in 2010 the construction started again. The arch of the bridge was completed by 2017 and the expected date for the completion of the bridge was 2019. But by 2019 only 80% of the total work was complete. By June 2022 it was final that the construction would be complete by December 2022. But finally the Chenab Rail Bridge completion date was August 2022. Also they announced that the bridge will be open to traffic by the end of December 2023 or beginning of 2024.

Chenab Rail Bridge opening date is February 2024 when Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the bridge. And the running of trains has been scheduled from July. So currently the bridge is all set to see the traffic running on it.

Key factors of the construction of Chenab Rail Bridge

The Chenab Rail Bridge plays a very crucial part as it is a significant link between Katra and Banihal. Located in the Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir this bridge is certainly an architectural marvel. Due to the location, landscape, topography as well as extreme weather conditions this bridge is a unique example of architectural brilliance.

Furthermore the rail bridge had to go through various tests as well as different safety tests to show its stability. The highest bridge in the world went through extreme temperature tests, high velocity wind tests and also earthquake tests. It further had to go through the hydrological tests that it might face due to the increase of water levels. The bridge has an expected shelf life of about 120 years with maintenance. It is an earthquake resistant bridge and it can also withstand a wind speed of 260 km per hour.

Height of Chenab Rail Bridge
Image Source : National Geographic
What’s more?

They have included high quality special steel to make the bridge blast proof. Alongside it is a complex design that makes it prone to heavy rainfall as well as heavy snowfall. The record breaking height of the bridge, making it 35 meters taller than the magnificent Eiffel Tower is yet another major attraction. To construct a bridge at such a high altitude maintaining the checks and the security was a task in itself. The engineers took three years to build only the arch of this bridge. They used two mammoth cable cranes to continue the work.  They had installed both the cranes on both the banks of Chenab. One was at Kauri and the other one at Bakkal.

Additionally the completion of the construction of the Chenab Rail Bridge will also be a fruitful way in boosting tourism in the Kashmir region. The easy access to trains from different locations is surely going to attract more visitors here. Even for the armed forces the construction of this bridge will prove to be a helpful one. And for the people of Jammu and Kashmir this comes as a sigh of relief after a long wait since the first approval of this construction back in 2004.

Wrapping Up!

Other than being the architectural marvel this bridge is also a historic construction in the history of India. The construction of this bridge will be helpful in a lot of aspects for sure. You can further check out the Chenab Rail Bridge photos to witness the grandeur of this construction. And according to plans this construction would certainly facilitate the communication to and from Kashmir. So that was all about the Chenab Rail Bridge and I have mentioned everything that you should know about this bridge. Let me know if you are excited enough for this marvelous construction to be functional and let me know if this article is helpful for you in knowing everything about the Chenab Rail Bridge.

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