'Milestone' in world’s tallest rail bridge in Manipur

'Milestone' in world’s tallest rail bridge in Manipur

The 100-meter pier of world's tallest rail bridge being constructed in Manipur. photo credit: Northest Frontier Railways Construction Organisation.

The Railways have achieved a ‘major milestone’ with the construction of a 100-meter-plus tall pier in the World’s tallest railway bridge being constructed near Noney in Manipur.

The bridge is being constructed over Ijai river near Noney as part of the 111-km Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project, under Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR). The pier with a height of 141-meter will surpass the existing record of 139-meter of Mala-Rijeka viaduct near Montenegro in Europe. The total length of the bridge will be 703-meter, senior public relations officer of NFR Construction Organization, S. K Ojah said, in a statement.

“The piers of the bridge are constructed using hydraulic augers, the tall piers needed specially designed “slip-form technique” to ensure efficient and continual construction. “Self-erecting” electric lifts at each pier cater to the safe and speedy conveyance of men and materials to the top. The steel girders are pre-fabricated in a workshop, transported in segments and erected at the site by cantilever launching scheme,” Ojah said.

Construction work of the project began in 2014 and picked up momentum in the last three years after it was declared a national project. “There are total 45 tunnels in the project--longest being 10.28-kilometre. This will be the longest railway tunnel in the Northeast,” he said.

The alignment of the railway line passes through steep rolling hills of the Patkai region in the eastern trail of the Himalayas. Jiriban, a small town situated along Assam-Manipur border is located at 37-meter above mean sea level while Imphal, Manipur capital is situated at 780-meter above mean sea level. It was decided to construct the tunnels of 54-km to maintain suitable gradient as the alignment will traverse through several deep gorges and several rivers flowing at low ground level.

A.Saibaba, chief engineer of NFR, Construction is in-charge of the project, Ojah said.