Indian Railways builds World’s Tallest Girder Rail Bridge

Indian Railways is planning to build country’s longest tunnel and world’s tallest girder rail bridge in Manipur. This is a record-breaking project undertaken by Indian Railways as they begin to connect the North Eastern parts with the rest of India. Indian Railways has taken a measured approach towards development of the region and the 111 km railway line from Jiribum to Imphal is part of it. This will not only connect Imphal, capital of Manipur to the rest of the country but will also open up new opportunities for economic development of the region.

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Indian Railways has already laid the foundation for Imphal Station and has also announced the commencement of work on the country’s longest tunnel as well as the tallest girder rail bridge. The tunnel will be built on the Jiribum-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway line in Manipur. The 111 km railway line already has 37 tunnels on it.

The striking feature on this stretch will be the construction of the world’s tallest girder rail bridge over the Iring River which will be 780 meters above sea level. The bridge will have pier height of 141 meters which will be equivalent to two Qutub Minar stacked on top of each other. This new rail bridge will surpass the existing highest rail bridge Mala-Rijeka Viaduct on Belgrade-Bar railway, Europe which has a height of 139 meters.An expert committee had been formed by the Indian Railways to study the geographical layout of the route including arrangements of tall bridges, considering the parameters like the length of span, type of span, the location of the pillars and other related factors. Based on the recommendations of the expert group, it was decided that the main superstructures will be of steel open web through type girders of 103.5 meters span.

This tallest bridge would give broad gauge railway connectivity to Imphal. This bridge will be built at Noney, a small district in Manipur, which would ensure rail connectivity to Imphal, the remote capital of the state, to the rest of India. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has already started construction in Noney. The rail line goes through an array of steep hilly regions in the Patkal Hills of the eastern region of the Himalayas.

Along the route, Indian Railways has to construct 46 tunnels measuring a total of 54.5 kilometers in length. Construction of the railway line on such mountainous terrain is considered an engineering marvel and may pose high risks as the area is prone to frequent earthquakes. The new tunnel will be 11.55 km long and more than the famous Pir Panjal tunnel on the Banihal-Qazigund line on the Kashmir Railway line.

The special feature of the Jiribum-Tupul-Imphal project of Indian Railways is the Bridge No 164, which will be the tallest girder rail bridge in the world. The entire project is targeted to be completed by 2018. The railway link will not only be an engineering marvel but will also link Manipur with the rest of the country. Indian Railways understands that connectivity is the prime driver of development and the Railways Minister is committed to bringing in speedy development of rail connectivity in the North Eastern region of the country. Better connectivity ensures a speedy growth in the country’s economy.


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