The Chenab Rail Bridge, also known as the Chenab Bridge, is a remarkable feat of engineering that spans the Chenab River in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This arch bridge is not only the highest railway bridge in the world, but it also holds the record for the highest arch bridge, standing at a staggering height of 359 meters (1,178 feet) above the river bed.
Constructed over the Chenab river in the Kouri region of the Reasi district, the bridge stands at over 1177 feet above the river bed. It features 93 deck segments and is a part of the much-anticipated 272-km-long railway line from Udhampur to Baramulla. The bridge is 1315m long, making it the highest railway bridge in the world, 35 meters taller than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. It is designed to withstand high wind speeds up to 266 Km/Hour and bear earthquake forces of the highest intensity zone-V. The bridge will remain operational at a restricted pace of 30 Km/hour even after removing one pier/trestle. The bridge’s construction involved the fabrication of 28,660 MT steel, 10 Lakh Earthwork, 66,000 Concrete, and 26 Km of motorable roads. It is also highlighted that the Chenab bridge took more than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers to bring the project to fruition.
The most sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software is employed for structural detailing using structural steel suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature. Chenab bridge has had to overcome several challenges; the geology, the harsh terrain, and the hostile environment are just a few of the difficulties the engineers and railway officials had to overcome to get to this point.
The bridge falls under the Katra-Banihal stretch of the USBRL, which is the project’s most challenging part due to its complex topography and weather conditions. It will be the highest railway arch bridge in the world, and the USBRL will provide all-weather rail connectivity to the Kashmir Valley from the rest of India for the first time since Independence.