Anji Bridge, India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge, all set for deck launch in May 2023

The deck launching work for India’s first and only cable-stayed rail bridge, Anji Bridge, is expected to be completed by May 2023. “We have already completed 41 out of 47 segments. The rest will be completed by May. After deck launching, only finishing and fine tuning work will be left.

The first of its kind railway bridge is currently under construction in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district and connects T2 and T3 tunnels on the Katra-Baniyal rail section. The bridge is being constructed with great difficulty due to the complex, delicate and difficult geology of the region, which is characterized by faults, bends and thrusts. The area is also prone to earthquakes, which adds to the challenge of building the bridge.

“We had initially planned to build an arch bridge like the Chenab, but the plan was canceled due to the challenging terrain. However, now we are building this cable-stayed bridge, which is the first of its kind in India. The bridge is supported by 96 cables, which makes it strong and suitable for trains running at speeds up to 100 KMPH,” the official said.

According to Northern Railway, the cable-stayed Anji Bridge has a total length of 473.25 metres, with a main span of 290 metres. The bridge has a main pylon that is 193 meters tall from the top of the foundation to an incredible 331 meters above the river bed.

Talking about the features of the bridge, the official said, “It is an asymmetric cable-stayed bridge balanced on the axis of a central pylon. The bridge is designed to carry a railway line and a 3.75 m wide service road. In addition, there is a 1.5 m wide footpath on each side of the deck, resulting in a total width of 15 m.

The bridge has been specially designed to withstand heavy storms and strong winds. “The design assumes a wind speed of 213 kmph,” he said.

The Katra-Banihal section of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project is currently 98% complete and is expected to be ready by February 2024. This section, which stretches for about 111 km, is the only non-functional part of the entire project. Along with the Anji Bridge, this stretch also houses another engineering marvel, the Chenab Bridge, which is currently the highest rail bridge in the world.

“The Anji Khad bridge is equipped with an integrated monitoring system consisting of multiple sensors installed at various locations on the bridge. This system will enable us to monitor and maintain the health of the bridge,” the official said.