Minister conducts first trial-run on world’s highest Rly bridge
JAMMU, Mar 26: While conducting the first trial run of a track-mounted vehicle on the world’s highest railway bridge over the river Chenab at Bakkal-Kauri in Reasi district, Minister of Railways, AshwiniVaishnaw today said that a Vande Bharat Metro Train will be operated between Jammu and Srinagar once Udhampur-Baramulla Rail Link Project (USBRL) becomes fully operation by ending of this year.
“USBRL Project will be completed by December this year or January 2024 and with this trains will chug on the track while a Vande Bharat will also be operated between Srinagar and Jammu as per Prime Minister NarendraModi’s vision to connect each part of the country through this metro,” said the Minister while conducting the trial run.
The trial run marks a significant milestone in the completion of the Udhampur-Katra-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link, which will for the first time in history connect the Kashmir valley with rest of the country by train.
The Minister of Railways was accompanied by AshutoshGangal, General Manager, Northern Railway and other senior officials of USBRL Project & Northern Railway during his official inspection visit to the world’s highest Chenab Bridge. After the successful trial run of the track-mounted vehicle, the bridge will soon be operational.
While talking to the media person on the sideline of the trolley run on Chenab bridge, AshwiniVaishnaw said that connecting Kashmir with rest of the country through train is a very important strategic development.
“This project is very important for people of Jammu Kashmir and has been given speed by Prime Minister NarendraModi who enhanced allocation for completion of the work multiple times from once Rs 700-800 crores to Rs 6000 crores at present,” he said and added that USBRL is nearing completion by December 2023 or January 2024 with finishing work on Chenab bridge, Anji Bridge, tunnels and meeting other engineering challenges on the line.
The Railway Minister said that it has been decided to set up a Vande Bharat Express train maintenance facility at Budgam in the Kashmir valley and in the first go Vande Bharat Metro will be run between Jammu and Srinagar cities once this important railway link connecting the Kashmir valley with rest of the country through rail network gets completed.
“The USBRL project has been a top priority for the Government and with the successful trial run of the Chenab Bridge, the completion of the project is now closer than ever before,” he said and added that the iconic bridge having a foundation equal to half the football field is a subject of pride and it was difficult challenge of engineering.
More than 28,000 metric tonnes of steel was used for the bridge structure that is built in a highly active seismic zone. The arch bridge was constructed at a cost of Rs 1,486 crore. The deck height of the bridge is 359 metres, while its length is 1,315 metres. The arch bridge has 17 spans and the linear length of the main arch span is 460 metres and it is curvilinear. The codal life of the bridge is 120 years and the bridge can withstand the wind speed of 266 kmph, but the train can cross the bridge at the speed of 100 kmph.