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article imageIndia building world's highest railway bridge

By Sravanth Verma     Jul 13, 2014 in World
The Indian railways is constructing the world's highest railway bridge, expected to be 359 meters (1,177 feet) upon completion. The current record-holder spans the Beipanjiang River in China, and is 275 meters high.
The bridge will be coming up in the Himalayan mountain range, and will connect sections of the especially mountainous north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The bridge connects Baramulla to Jammu, cutting travel time by half to six-and-a-half hours.
The bridge, which will be 35 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower, is expected to be completed by 2016. "It is an engineering marvel. We hope to get this bridge ready by December 2016. The design would ensure that it withstands seismic activities and high wind speeds," a senior Indian Railways official said.
"Its main arch span will be 467 meters while its total length will be 1315 meters. There will be 17 spans in this bridge and it will have a total steel fabrication of 25000 metric tonnes," said RK. Rana, public relations officer, Northern Railways.
"It will withstand a wind velocity of 220 kilometres per hour at the deck level. The bridge is being built in the seismic zone V. The slope along the Katra side back is 35-50 degrees while the Qazigund side bank is vertical to sub-vertical," he said. "In addition to the indigenous experts of Research Design Standards Organisation of Indian Railways, Konkan Railway corporation, National Institute of Rock Mechanics Kolar, IIT Roorkee and IISc, Banglore WRI, Trichi, experts have also been drawn from outside India," he added
Work on the bridge began in 2002. However, safety and feasibility concerns halted construction in 2008, before restarting in 2010. The estimated cost of the 1,315-meter long bridge is $92 million.
"One of the biggest challenges involved was constructing the bridge without obstructing the flow of the river," the railways official said. "Approach roads had to be constructed to reach the foundations of the bridge," he added.
The Indian Railway network stands at 60,000 kilometers of tracks across the Indian sub-continent. In fact, India's rail network in the fourth largest in the world, behind the United States, Russia, and China.
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