Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project
The Udhampur – Srinagar- Baramulla Rail Link Project is the most challenging project being undertaken post-independence. It was highly essential to provide an alternative and a reliable transportation system to Jammu & Kashmir to join Kashmir valley to the Indian Railways network. In view of importance of this project in providing seamless and hassle-free connectivity in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, the Project was declared as “National Project” in 2002.
A part of this project from Katra – Dharam from km 30.00 to km 73.785 and km 91 to km 100.868 has been assigned (Total of 53.66 Km) to Konkan Railway for execution. It comprises of 46.1 km i.e 86% of the route in tunnels, 4.6 km i.e 8.6% of the route on bridges & the balance 5.4% of route in cuttings and embankments. In addition, Konkan Railway constructed 160 kms of project roads including road tunnels and many temporary Bailey bridges to gain access to the Katra – Dharam section.
The alignment of this project passes through three major geological thrust zones namely Reasi, Muree and Pir Panjal thrust. The geological strata vary from loose conglomerate, clay, silt stones, crushed and faulted sand stones and dolomites. Geology changes very frequently due to natural challenges which includes major earthquake zones, extreme temperatures and inhospitable terrain making it very difficult to access the complete geology in advance.
Considering the varying geological conditions, adjustments in design have to be made as the work progresses. Construction of longer tunnels with wider cross section for station yards is a difficult task for which proper methodologies are being roped in with requisite machinery. Extensive engineering works are required to be done for tunnel portals, deep cuttings, bridges & approach roads.
Socio-economic impact of the Project
- Boost to tourism. Tourist can travel all over the country to visit various parts of J&K specially the valley.
- Better facilities for students of J&K to travel to other parts of the country for educational purposes.
- The completion of this project will provide an all-weather and reliable connectivity to the J&K State with rest of the country by the railway network, also provide connectivity by rail to far flung areas of J&K which will result in overall economic development of the state.
- Construction of Access Roads – More than 160 Km approach road to work sites are being constructed, these roads will provide connectivity to far-flung villages and will connect them to the main stream.
There are 17 tunnels aggregating length of 46.1 Kms. The longest tunnel is Tunnel No.13 of 9.368 Kms length. Four Tunnels i.e. Tunnel No. 2, 5, 13 & 14 will be provided with a separate access and Rescue Tunnel with smaller size of cross – section parallel to main tunnel. The Tunnels on this project are being constructed using the state of art technology of New Austrian Tunnelling method (NATM)) and conventional method. Out of the 17 Tunnels, 13 Tunnels have been made through and work in progress in balance tunnels. So far, Konkan Railway has completed tunnel excavation of 37.1kms out of 46.1 kms. The works are in progress for balance tunnels.
A) Chenab Bridge: The project alignment crosses deep gorge of Chenab River near Salal Hydro Power Dam, which necessitates construction of a mega bridge on River Chenab. Chenab bridge, at 359m above river bed and having 467m of single arch span across mighty Chenab river, will be highest Railway Arch Bridge in the world. This iconic bridge soaring 359 metres above the bed of the River Chenab will be 35 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The overall length of Chenab bridge is 1315 m having 17 spans, in which one span of main arch portion across Chenab river is of 467m length. The work on viaduct portion of the bridge at Srinagar end is nearing completion. The viaduct portion comprises of straight and curved portion. The curvilinear portion of viaduct is located on the sharp curve of 2.74 degree. The curved portion of viaduct portion has been launched by end launching using launching nose. This is the first time in India that this technique has been successfully carried out and USBRL team need special commendation for having successfully executed the work. Fabrication work of the super structure of this viaduct was carried out by installing and commissioning of an extremely efficient and technically superior workshop at the site.
The erection of Arch from both ends with the help of cable crane is under process. It consists of 2 nos. Arches (One upstream and other downstream) joined by wind bracings together parabolic in shape having crown at 359.0 m height from river bed making it World Highest Railway bridge. Till date, erection of 5462 MT out of 9010 MT has been completed. State of the Art technology is being used to control the Geometry of the Arch.
Unique Features of Chenab Bridge:
1. Highest Railway Bridgein the world at 359 m.
2. Cable crane assembly including pylons at span of 915 meters is the longest in the world. Pylon at height of 127m is higher than Qutub Minar of 72 m.
3. First time on the Globe, Bridge has been designed for Blast Load in consultation with DRDO.
- Redundancy Kept in Design
- Removal of one pier/trestle
- Bridge shall not collapse and remains operational at 30kmph
- Bridge remains repairable
4. For the first time in country, launching of plate girder by pushing from one end of curve of 2.74 degrees has been successfully completed (Overall length of curvilinear portion is 268 m).
5. First time on Indian Railways, use of Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing machine for inspection of welds in bridges in India.
6. Chenab site lab has been accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Laboratories) for testing of welded elements for first time on Indian Railways.
7. Highest structural steel pier at 130.855 M at S-40 foundation, which is higher than Qutub Minar of 72 m.
B) Anji Bridge: The Anji Khad bridge is a cable-stayed bridge proposed to connect Katra and Reasi Section of Udhampur-Srinagar Baramulla Rail Link Project. This is the first cable stayed bridge to be constructed in Indian Railways. The Anji Bridge mainly includes the Main bridge having length of 473.25m (1*290.00m+ 1*80.00m + 1* 75.00m+1* 28.25m), the Ancillary Viaduct having length of 120m and the Central Embankment (between Main bridge and Ancillary Viaduct) having length 64.25m. The specific feature of the bridge is its main span having length of 290 m and height (193 m) above top of Well Cap. The single Pylon will be 193m high above Well Cap and 331m high above river bed. The bridge will be supported by total 96 cables and one pylon of 193m height placed on Reasi side. The Bridge is designed by M/s Italfer SPA, an Italian consultant.
The bridge will have integrated monitoring system by means of numerous sensors installed at specified locations for recording on real time basis the various critical parameters to monitoring the structural health of the bridge. On completion, the new Anji Bridge assess the great potential of the Cable Stayed bridges in Railways.
To move heavy materials, KRCL had constructed a Road Bridge over river Chenab near Dhamkund on Ramban – Gool State highway. This road bridge is connecting surrounding villages i.e. Sangaldan, Gool, Mahore, Arnas, Kanthan and Reasi in Jammu & Kashmir.
Konkan Railway strives to work towards the development of the nation.