World’s highest railway bridge which will be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower is to come up over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of around Rs. 1,100 crore in around two years from now. The bridge will connect Bakkal (Katra) and Kauri (Srinagar). The bridge will be a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project. Once completed, the bridge will be an engineering marvel. The project is expected to be completed by 2019. After completion of the bridge it will surpass the record of the Beipan river Shuibai railway bridge (275 m) in China. The bridge is expected to contribute to the economic development of the state and improve its accessibility.
The new railway bridge will be of an arch-shaped structure in hostile terrain. It will be constructed using over 24,000 tonnes of steel and will rise 359 m above the river bed. Steel has been chosen as the construction material as it would be cheap and would be able to resist temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of above 250 kmph. The design of the bridge will be such that it will be able to withstand wind speed of up to 260 kmph.
The Indian Railways is also planning to install sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity. The sensors will turn the track signal red to prevent the train movement if the wind speed exceeds 90 kmph.
The bridge will be constructed using a 63mm thick special blast-proof steel to make the bridge to withstand terrorist attacks as the region is prone to frequent terror attacks. In addition, the concrete pillars of the bridge will be designed to withstand explosions.
A ring of aerial security will be provided to safeguard the bridge. In addition, to safeguard the passengers and train at crucial times online monitoring and warning system will be installed on the bridge.