In a successful development, the main tunnel of the Katra-Banihal section, T-49, was successfully connected between Sumbar and Arpinchala stations on Tuesday, the Northern Railway said.
Once completed, the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) mega project will be the longest tunnel of the Indian Railways.
“A major milestone has been achieved by executing the break-through of tunnel T49 between Sumbar and Arpinchala station on the ongoing Katra-Banihal section. It is pertinent to mention that the line and level of the tunnel is properly in the break-through. has been achieved,” the Northern Railway issued a statement.
Tunnel T-49 of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project is 12.75 km long.
The salient features of Tunnel T-49 by Indian Railways are as follows:
Tunnel T-49 is 12.758 km long and is set to become the longest tunnel of Indian Railways crossing the 11.2 km long Pir Panjal Tunnel on the Banihal-Qazigund section.
The South Portal of Tunnel T-49 is situated at an altitude of 1400 meters in picturesque Sumbar village at a distance of 45 km from Ramban, the district headquarter in Jammu and Kashmir.
The northern entrance of the tunnel is located at an altitude of about 1,600 meters in the Mhow-Mangat valley near Arpinchala village in Khari tehsil of Ramban district.
The T-49 tunnel consists of two tubes: the main tunnel and the escape tunnel. It is constructed by the new Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM), which uses a modern drilling and blast technology. The cross-section profile of the tunnel is shaped like a modified horseshoe.
As per international standards, the escape tunnel is being constructed parallel to the main tunnel connected to the cross passage at an interval of 375 meters to facilitate rescue and restoration work.
The Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Rail Link Project (USBRL) project is 272 km long, out of which 161 km is already commissioned and commissioned.
The work on the 111-km-long route between the central Katra-Banihal section is in progress. The railways said the section is particularly challenging due to its terrain in the lower Himalayas. The railways said that the Katra-Banihal section has several major bridges and very long tunnels which are under construction in various stages.
The railways said that despite the challenges during construction, such as shear zone, perched aquifer, and highly combined rock mass, squeezing rock problems and high penetration of water, the team of experienced engineers successfully made this major breakthrough.
In addition to engineers and workers, the local population was also employed by agencies for various construction-related works in the region.