The much-awaited dream transformed into a reality when Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw conducted the "first trial run" on a track-mounted vehicle on the world's highest railway bridge at Kauri  village over the river the Chenab in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Taking all ifs and buts in mind, the bridge is made in such a way that it is designed for 120 years, which is a big achievement for the entire country. The nation must be proud of our engineers, who transformed the dream into a reality", the Railway Minister said after conducting the trial run.

Railway minister
Ministry of Railways

A day after announcing that the dream project of the Udhampur-Katra-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link will be completed at the beginning of the year 2024, the Railway Minister on Sunday conducted a trial run.

The Minister told the media that the construction work on this bridge started somewhere around 2005-06 but when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over in 2014, he personally reviewed the project, which is very close to his heart and he desired the design of the bridge for more than 100 years.

Railway Minister
Railway Minister conducting trial run on world's highest railway bridge in Reasi district of J&K.Indian Railways

There were several engineering challenges, said the minister adding, "but the most important was 'willpower' of the leadership. The 'willpower' of the leadership matters a lot especially when PM Modi took the project in his hands with timely reviews, monitoring, and discussions that made us more encouraged and determined to accomplish the target. Leadership really makes a difference."

J&K: World's highest Chenab River bridge.
J&K: World's highest Chenab River bridge.IANS

Bridge is 35 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower

This arch bridge is being built on the Chenab river in the Reasi district of the Jammu division, which is 35 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower. The height of its arch is 359 meters above the water level of the Chenab river. Salal-A and Dugga railway stations have been connected on both sides with the launch of overarch deck of the Chenab bridge.

The bridge is being made earthquake resistant. This bridge is part of the 272 km long railway project from Udhampur to Baramulla. The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link is an ambitious project of the country.

World's highest railway bridge
Konkan Railways

Special about this bridge

The length of the 17-pillared bridge is 1315 meters and 28,660 metric tonnes of steel have been used in its construction at Rs 1,486 crore. The installed arch weighs 10,619 metric tons. The steel used in the structure is suitable for temperatures ranging from minus 10 °C to minus 40 °C. The minimum lifespan of the bridge is 120 years. It is being made to run trains at a speed of 100 km.

The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail link is included in the country's ambitious project, for which an estimated expenditure of Rs 28,000 crores is to be spent.