India builds world’s highest rail bridge

India builds world’s highest rail bridge

India builds world’s highest rail bridge

A general view of the site of the under-construction world’s highest railway bridge is seen in Kauri in northern Jammu and Kashmir state. AFP photo

Indian engineers are toiling in the Himalayas to build the world’s highest railway bridge which is expected to be 35 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower when completed by 2016.

The arch-shaped steel structure is being constructed over the Chenab River to link sections of the spectacular mountainous region of India’s northern Jammu and Kashmir state.

The bridge is expected to be 359 meters high when completed, surpassing the world’s current tallest railway bridge over the Beipanjiang River in China’s Guizhou province, which stands at 275 meters high.

“It is an engineering marvel. We hope to get this bridge ready by December 2016,” a senior Indian Railways official told Agence France-Presse.

“The design would ensure that it withstands seismic activities and high wind speeds,” he said July 9.
Work on the bridge started in 2002 but safety and feasibility concerns, including the area’s strong winds, saw the project halted in 2008 before being green-lighted again two years later. The estimated cost of the project, which is being handled by Konkan Railway Corporation, a subsidiary of state-owned Indian Railways, is $92 million.

The bridge will connect Baramulla to Jammu in the Himalayan state with a travel time of six-and-a-half hours, almost half the time it currently takes.