Historic Trial Run On The World's Highest Railway Bridge

Indian Railways achieved a significant milestone by successfully conducting a trial run of an eight-coach MEMU train on the world's highest railway bridge, the Chenab Bridge, in Jammu and Kashmir
A sight of the breathtakingly beautiful Chenab Bridge
A sight of the breathtakingly beautiful Chenab Bridge@RailMinIndia/x

On June 20, Indian Railways achieved a significant milestone by successfully conducting a trial run of an eight-coach MEMU train on the world's highest railway bridge, the Chenab Bridge, in Jammu and Kashmir. This trial run paves the way for the beginning of regular rail services on the route from Reasi to Baramulla in Kashmir.

The Chenab Bridge: An Engineering Marvel

A view of the Chenab Bridge
A view of the Chenab Bridge@RailMinIndia/x

The Chenab Bridge is located between the Dugga and Bakkal stations, spanning the Chenab River. This bridge holds the title of the world's highest arch railway bridge, standing at 359 metres above the river bed, which is about 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower. It is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project and has an overall length of 1,315 metres, with an impressive arch span of 467 metres.

USBRL Project: Connecting the Kashmir Valley

Successful trial run of MEMU train between Sangaldan - Reasi section of USBRL project
Successful trial run of MEMU train between Sangaldan - Reasi section of USBRL project@AshwiniVaishnaw/x

The USBRL project is an important infrastructure initiative aimed at providing a dependable transportation system for Jammu and Kashmir. Once completed, the project will connect Udhampur to Baramulla, integrating the Kashmir Valley with the broader Indian rail network through a 272-km-long railway line.

Milestones in the USBRL Project

Phase I: Qazigund-Baramulla Section

In October 2009, under the Congress-led UPA government, Phase I of the USBRL project was inaugurated, covering the 118 km long section from Qazigund to Baramulla.

Phase II: Banihal-Qazigund Section

The 18 km long Banihal-Qazigund section was inaugurated in June 2013, further extending the connectivity within the region.

Phase III: Udhampur-Katra Section

In July 2014, the 25 km section from Udhampur to Katra was inaugurated, adding another crucial link in the project.

Recent Developments

In February 2024, the first trial run of an electric train was successfully conducted on the Banihal to Khari to Sangaldan section of the USBRL project. This trial covered approximately 40 km of track and tunnels between Banihal and Sangaldan railway stations in Ramban district, demonstrating the progress and potential of electric rail connectivity in the region.

Structural Highlights

The USBRL project comprises a total of 927 bridges, which together span 13 km. The Chenab Bridge is especially remarkable for its height and engineering excellence, serving as a symbol of progress and connectivity for the region. The successful trial run on the Chenab Bridge marks a significant moment for Indian Railways and the USBRL project. This accomplishment brings the vision of seamless rail connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir closer to reality, promising to improve the region's transportation infrastructure and fuel its socio-economic development.

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