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High-tech systems to guard world's tallest railway bridge

An engineering marvel, the 1,315-m-long bridge is a steel and concrete arch bridge built to sustain 260 kmph wind speed and designed to bear earthquakes of the highest intensity.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 22:00 IST

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New Delhi: More than 100 sensors, a 780-metre-long blast protection platform and a control room with 150 servers are among several state-of-the-art equipment that guard the Chenab Bridge — world's tallest rail bridge being operational for rail traffic — in Jammu and Kashmir.  

An engineering marvel, the 1,315-m-long bridge is a steel and concrete arch bridge built to sustain 260 kmph wind speed and designed to bear earthquakes of the highest intensity.

Situated between Bakkal and Kauri in Reasi district of Jammu division, the bridge is a crucial link in the Katra-Banihal section of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project.

The railways successfully conducted the trial run of an eight-coach MEMU train on the Chenab Bridge on June 20. The success of the trial paved the way for the start of rail service on the route from Reasi to Baramulla in Kashmir.

While the protection platform is being mounted on the surface of the 359-metre high rail bridge over Chenab river to absorb the impact during the train operation, 120 sensors are being installed to monitor the structural health of the arch bridge round the clock, said an official in the railways. 

These sensors will provide vital data about the wind velocity, temperature, humidity, vibrations and other required information on a real-time basis, said the  official. 

Being located in a hilly area, the bridge is expected to experience winds of varying velocity and it is essential for the railways to keep a close tab on the wind speed.

The bridge is equipped with sensors to trigger a red signal and also sound an alarm at the station master's room in case of emergencies like wind speed exceeding the permissible limit.

There are trained personnel being deployed to monitor and operate the structural health monitoring system of the bridge.

Apart from checking wind speed, the expert team at the control room will also monitor various other functions of the system, including wind direction, ambient air temperature and also loads at various sections of the bridge.

Regular train operation over the bridge is expected to commence soon.

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Published 23 June 2024, 22:00 IST

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