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Indian Railways completes the Arch closure of the iconic Chenab Bridge

Indian Railways completes the Arch closure of the iconic Chenab Bridge
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The Arch looms over Chenab, flowing 359 metres below

Arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history

Major Leap towards completion of the Katra- Banihal section

Chenab Bridge, the world’s highest railway bridge, part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL), set an important construction milestone today with completion of the steel arch of the iconic Chenab Bridge. This was one of the most difficult part of the bridge over Chenab. This achievement is a major leap towards the completion of the 111 k.m. long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal. It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history. The 5.6-metre last piece of metal was fitted at the highest point today and joined  the two arms of the arch that currently stretch towards each other from both the banks of the river. This completed the shape of the arch that will then loom over the treacherous Chenab, flowing some 359 metres below. After completion of the arch work, removal of the stay cables, filling of the concrete in the arch rib, erection of the steel trestle, launching of the viaduct and track laying work will be taken up.

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The completion of the historic Arch work was also seen by Shri Piyush Goyal Minister for Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Suneet Sharma, Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, Shri Ashutosh Gangal, General Manager Northern Railway through video conferencing.

Salient Features of the Arch of the iconic Chenab Bridge:

  • Indian Railways is constructing the iconic Arch Bridge on River Chenab as a part of the USBRL project to connect the Kashmir valley to the rest of the nation.
  • This bridge is 1315m long. 
  • This is the highest Railway Bridge in the world being 359m above the river bed level.
  • It will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France).
  • Construction of Bridge involved fabrication of 28,660 MT steel, 10 Lakh Cum Earthwork, 66,000 Cum Concrete and 26 Km motorable roads.
  • Arch consists of steel boxes. Concrete will be filled in boxes of the Arch to improve stability.
  • Overall weight of Arch is 10,619 MT.
  • Erection of the members of arch by overhead cable cranes done for first time on Indian Railways.
  • The most sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software used for structural detailing.
  • Structural steel suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature.
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Certain features are tabulated below:

1. Client: Northern Railway

2. Executing Agency: M/s Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.

3. Cost of Bridge: 1486 Cr.

4. Contractor: M/s Chenab Bridge Project Undertaking [Ultra-AFCONS-VSL(JV)]

5. Total length of bridge: 1.315km

6. Number of spans: 17 nos.

7. Length of Main arch span: 467m (linear); 550m (curvilinear)

8. Design life of the bridge: 120 years

9. Design speed: 100 kmph

10. Total Steel Fabrication: 28660 MT (approx)

11. Design wind speed: 266 kmph

12. Designers:

A. Viaduct & Foundations: M/s WSP (Finland)

B. Arch: M/s Leonhart, Andra and Partners (Germany)

C. Foundation Protection: Indian Institute of Science Bangalore

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13. Proof Consultant:

A. Foundation & Foundation Protection: M/s URS, UK

B. Superstructure of Viaduct & Arch: M/s COWI, UK

14. Slope Stability Analysis: (Independent Consultant) M/s ITASCA, USA

15. Slope Stability Analysis: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi 

16. Seismic Analysis: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi & Roorkee

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