Chenab Rail Bridge : First Train successfully running on the world’s highest railway bridge on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir

First Train successfully running on the world’s highest railway bridge on the Chenab River in J and K

On 20th of June, 2024 a  trial run of an eight-coach MEMU train conducted by Indian Railways on the iconic Chenab Bridge in Jammu and Kashmir. This is considered as a significant achievement as it will facilitate rail services from Reasi to Baramulla in Kashmir apart from joining Kashmir with other parts of the country. The only road link to the valley being NH 44, which often remain closed during winter months due to snowfall, landslide and other natural calamities. This railway link will also provide an efficient transport connectivity to armed forces along the LOC (Pakistan) and LAC (China). It will also foster social integration by facilitating easier movement of people and goods, thereby promoting cultural exchanges and regional development and boosting economic activities such as tourism and trade.

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Chenab Bridge is the world’s highest arch railway bridge, running from Dugga to Bakkal stations.

The trial run was conducted on a 46-km-long electrified line section between Sangaldan in Ramban district and Reasi at a speed of 40 kmph.

It started at 12.35 pm from Sangaldan and reaching Reasi at 2.05 pm, traversed nine tunnels spanning 40.787 km, including the longest tunnel T-44 stretching 11.13 km.

Important stations along the route—Reasi, Bakkal, Dugga, and Sawlakote—are located in Reasi district, Jammu & Kashmir.

Height of Chenab Rail Bridge

The Chenab Rail Bridge is a structural marvel standing at a towering 359 meters (around 109 feet) above the Chenab river and is around 35 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The 1,315 metre-long bridge is part of a larger project which aims to make the Kashmir valley more accessible by the Indian Railway network.

Chenab-Rail-Bridge_2 Chenab-Rail-Bridge_1

Development of the project in Phases

On February 20, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 48.1 km long Banihal-Sangaldan section of the USBRL project.

The project was officially approved in December 2004 and track laying was completed by March 2023.

The first phase covering the 118 km long Qazigund-Baramulla section was inaugurated in October 2009.

After that in June 2013, the 18 km long Banihal-Qazigund section was inaugurated and the 25 km long Udhampur-Katra section was unveiled in July 2014.

The trial run on June 20, 2024 suggests that the rail services on the world’s highest railway bridge in Jammu and Kashmir will commence soon.

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