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World’s highest railway bridge ‘Golden joint’ launched in J&K

[GS Paper 3 - Infrastructure and Economy]

Context – The Golden Joint of Chenab Railway Bridge was recently inaugurated in Jammu and Kashmir on the Chenab River, thereby making it the World’s highest Railway Bridge.

To commemorate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the world’s highest bridge in Reasi district of J&K was decked up with the Tricolour by the workers on this occasion.

Key Highlights

  • The bridge comprises 93 deck segments, each weighing around 85 tonnes, launched simultaneously from both ends of the valley over the massive steel arch and work on joining five segments in full progress on the single line linking Katra (Jammu) with Qazigund (Kashmir), some 75 km away.
  • The project is part of the ambitious 272-km long railway line from Udhampur to Baramulla joining Jammu with the Kashmir valley as an all-weather high speed alternative, named the ‘Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project’.
  • The bridge has so far gobbled up around 30,350 tonnes of steel, comprising 10,620 tonnes to build the gigantic arch and 14,500 tonnes for the bridge deck, and stands majestically near the Kauri village upstream of Salal Dam.
  • For the first time in Indian Railways, incremental launching was done on a transition curve and a longitudinal gradient, both at the same location, for the deck launching of the viaduct portion on the bridge.

  • Given the height, the extreme weather conditions, and strong gales that often lash the valley, the sophisticated automatic signaling system installed on both sides will stop the trains from crossing the bridge if wind speeds there touch 90-kmph.
  • The 272-km long railway line will have 38 tunnels (total length of 119 km) with the country’s longest tunnel T-49 (12.75 km), 927 big and small bridges (total length of 13 km), and mark a new era in the development and progress of Jammu & Kashmir.

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