Chenab bridge, world’s highest rail bridge, is India’s unparalleled engineering feat!

The bridge will be 1.315-km-long and is being built at a height of 359 metres above the Chenab river. This makes bridge 35 metres taller than the Eiffel tower! The bridge will have stations at both the ends. According to Indian Railways, the second and third highest railway arch bridges are Najiehe Railway bridge (at a height of 310 m) at Liuchangxiang, Guizhou, China and Bejpan River Shuibai Railway bridge (at a height of 275 m) at Liupanshui, Guizhou, China. Said to be an engineering marvel, the Chenab railway bridge will be ready by March 2019. DRDO has worked closely with Indian Railways to make sure that the Rs 12,000-crore bridge can withstand any major blast in the terrorism-affected region. To enhance the safety and security, the bridge is being made of 63 mm-thick special blast-proof steel. Steel is more economical and can take temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius. This is a crucial factor, given the location of the bridge. Additionally, steel can resist speeds of above 250 kmph as well. As much as 24,000-plus tonnes of steel will be used in the construction of the bridge. Indian Railways plans to install sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity. Whenever the wind speed will exceed 90 kmph, the signal on the track will turn red, hence stopping train movement. As stated earlier, the bridge has been designed to bear earthquake forces of zone V, even though the bridge site falls under zone IV. Zone V is the highest intensity zone in India. The concrete pillars of the bridge have also been designed to withstand explosions. The bridge will include a 14 metre-wide dual carriageway and a 1.2 metre-wide central verge. Additionally, a ‘ring of aerial security’ will be provided to safeguard the bridge, says Railways. An online monitoring and warning system will be installed on the bridge to protect passengers and trains in critical conditions, says Railways adding that footpaths and cycle trails will be provided adjacent to it. There will also be a ropeway on the bridge for inspection and maintenance purposes. Given the tourism potential of the site, there are plans to host additional activities for tourists in the region. These will include bungee jumping and other such exciting sport events. The structure will be painted with a special corrosion-resistant paint which lasts for 15 years.

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