Anji bridge finally nears completion

TNN Bureau. Updated: 3/26/2023 12:55:33 AM Front Page

Jammu: India’s first cable-stayed Anji Khad Bridge which will connect the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir will be ready by May 2023, confirmed the railway ministry officials. The bridge, connecting Katra and Reasi, is dubbed an engineering marvel. The link will be a breakthrough in connecting Kashmir with the rest of India by train. The total cost of the entire rain line is ₹37,000 crore and the bridge is ₹400 crore.
The look of the bridge will remind Mumbaiites of the Bandra Worli Sea Link, which is among the first cable-stayed bridges in the country.
The project will also comprise the world’s highest railway bridge over the Chenab River. The 1,315-m arch bridge will be taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris and will rise 331 m above the riverbed.
The Anji bridge is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Line (USBRL) that is expected to be operative by February 2024. This is deemed to be one of the most difficult projects undertaken in the Indian subcontinent. The bridge has been designed to withstand storms and strong winds. Given the complex geology of the high-altitude region, constructing the bridge is very challenging. The railways have divided the 272-km rail link into three subsections.
“This bridge is located in a region where there are fault lines, folds and thrusts; besides seismic proneness. This is similar to the one in Mumbai (BWSL) whose design we have adapted here,” explained an official from Konkan Railway which has undertaken this work.
There is also another cable on the Versova -Andheri-Ghatkopar metro line apart from BWSL. “Because of the long span and deep valley; we had to conduct wind tunnel tests to evaluate parameters for the longevity of this bridge. The design speed of this rail line is 100 kmph for trains,” said another rail official.
This bridge is said to be quite robust and can withstand 213 kmph of winds. Explaining the same, railway officials said that if two consecutive cable stays dislodge or go ‘missing’, trains will have to move at speed restrictions of 30 kmph.
“After connecting with Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla train service, the Vande Bharat train will be started. The USBRL project will be completed by Jan/Feb 2024,” said Deepak Kumar, chief PRO, Northern Railway.
This bridge will have a single rail line supported by a small walkway for maintenance and exigency. On either end of this rail bridge, there are tunnels that are part of this 111 km rail network.

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