World’s highest steel arch rail bridge nears completion in J&K

| | Jammu
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World’s highest steel arch rail bridge nears completion in J&K

Monday, 17 June 2024 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

World’s highest steel arch rail bridge nears completion in J&K

The world’s highest steel arch rail bridge which is 1.315 metres long and 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, over river Chenab in the Reasi district of Jammu division, is all set to bring Kashmir Valley one more step closer to the rest of the country with the commissioning of the 46-km long Sangaldan-Reasi section by the end of this month.

Sources said in his first visit to the valley after taking over as Prime Minister for third consecutive time, Narendar Modi will also travel first when this is thrown open for the nation later this month. 

The Commissioner of Railways Safety (CRS) DC Deshwal is scheduled to visit the rail section for an on-the-spot inspection of the 46-km long railway track between Sangaldan-Reasi before giving its nod to extend the footprints of the rail network up to Reasi.

Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railway, Deepak Kumar said the commissioning of this section depends on the CRS’s inspection of this vital section of the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail link (USBRL) on June 27 and 28.

“The works of Sangaldan to Reasi will be completed before the scheduled inspection of CRS,” he said.

The USBRL project, including the 48.1 km long Banihal-Sangaldan section, was inaugurated by Modi on February 20, 2024.

With the commissioning of the 46 km Sangaldan-Reasi section, the work on a 17-km stretch between Reasi and Katra only remains pending which is likely to be completed by the year’s end to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country by train.

Out of the total 272 km USBRL project, 209 km was commissioned in phases with the first phase of the 118 km Qazigund-Baramulla section commissioned in October 2009 followed by 18 km Banihal-Qazigund in June 2013, 25-km Udhampur-Katra in July 2014 and 48.1- km long Banihal-Sangaldan stretch in February, this year.

Official sources said the flagging of the first train between Sangaldan-Reasi is scheduled on June 30, connecting the Reasi district in Jammu to Kashmir via railway line.

The General Manager of Northern Railway Shobhan Chaudhuri had earlier inspected the Chenab Bridge up to Sangaldan station via Motor Trolley, assessing the track, Electrical and Mechanical system and signal telecom works in the Bakkal-Duggar-Sawalkote-Sangaldan section last month.

Deputy Commissioner, Reasi Vishesh Paul Mahajan, who recently inspected the railway line, said the people of the district are eagerly waiting to listen to the train’s siren and its chugging on the trek.

Mahajan said when the train crosses the Chenab bridge, anytime soon it will be a proud moment for the country that “our engineers have gifted the highest railway bridge to the world.”

“This railway project is full of engineering marvels as most of the 111-km section between Katra and Banihal passes through tunnels and bridges. We have India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge (Anji Khad) also here,” he said, saluting the railway for inching closer to completing the ‘dream project’.

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