Northern Railway accomplishes ‘Golden Joint’ of deck of world’s highest railway bridge

JAMMU : A significant milestone was achieved over the USBRL National project when deck launched from both side of the Arch was joint mid-way over Arch portion of Chenab Bridge today. The function was held at Chenab Bridge. Chief Administrative officer USBRL  Surinder Mahi, Chief Engineer USBRL  B.B.S. Tomar, CMD KRCL  Sanjay Gupta, ED KRCL  RK Hegde and Director AFCON  R. Giridhar were present at the site.

This joint is aptly named the Golden Joint.  Launching of 785m deck over the Chenab arch bridge was carried out by joining prefabricated portions and then launching them from both ends. The Golden Joint is the last joint of the bridge deck, which connects both side of deck at the arch, to make it into continuous structure. After aligning the two sections of the bridge in place, it will be fastened by means of HSFG (high strength friction grip) bolts.

Indian Railways has undertaken a project to connect the Kashmir valley to the rest of India through a rail link. A construction marvel in the tough Himalayan terrain the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) will provide all weather connectivity to the people of J&K. This project is going to be a game changer in not only providing a mass transportation system but also will  create business and tourism opportunities in the region.

Chenab Bridge, the World’s Highest Railway Bridge, amega iconic structure is a part of this project. It is being constructed across a gorge of the Chenab River in Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir. It is an arch bridge having a total length of 1315m and is 359 m above the river bed.

On 5th April, 2021, Closure of Arch, one major milestone in the construction of the monumental structure was accomplished. It was significant due to the fact that Arch erection was taken up from both Jammu and Srinagar ends of the Bridge and precision matching in the centre had to be achieved.

The completion of the joint most work in the construction of the mega structure nears completion. Now laying of the ballast-less track will soon start.

Salient features of bridge are as follows:

  • Client : Northern Railway
  • Executing Agency            : M/s Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.
  • Contractor : M/s Chenab Bridge Project

Undertaking (M/s Ultra-Afcons- VSL(JV))

  • Total length of the Bridge : 1315 meters
  • Design life of the bridge : 120 years
  • Design speed : 100 kmph
  • Height of Bridge (river bed to formation): 359m
  • Main Arch Span : 467 meters
  • Total No of Spans : 17 Nos.
  • Deck Width
  • Viaduct Portion                                            : 13.50 meters
  • Arch Portion                                      : 17.00 meters
  • Ht. of Steel Pier : 130.855 meters (S-40)
  • Ht. of Concrete Pier :  49.343 meters (S-140)
  • Size of Foundation
  • Viaduct Portion                                          : 18 x 15 x 4.15 meters (S-120)
  • Arch Portion                                                : 49.0 x 35.0 meters (S-40)
  • Total Steel Fabrication : 28660 MT
  • Seismic zone : Zone IV (But considered Zone V)
  • Design Wind Velocity : 266 kmph (at deck level)
  • Span of cable crane : 915 m
  • First time, End launching of plate girder on the transition portion of curve.
  • First time consideration of Blast Load for bridge design



Unique features of bridge are as follows:


  • Highest Railway Bridge in the world at 359 Meters height which is 35m higher than Eiffel Tower, Paris.
  • Use of Concrete filled trusses in Arch being used for the first time in India.
  • Power operated cars for inspection and maintenance of bridge, being provided for the first time in India.
  • A continuous health monitoring and warning system is being provided for State of Art Instrumentation.
  • Cable crane assembly used for erection of Steel members of Bridge has span of 915 meters, one of the longest in the world.
  • One of the Pylon of Cable crane at height of 127m is higher than Qutub Minar of 72 m.
  • For the First time, Bridge has been designed for Blast Load in consultation with DRDO.
  • Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing machine for inspection of welds.
  • For the first time, NABL (National Accreditation Board for Laboratories) accredited Lab has been setup at site for testing of welded elements in Indian Railways.
  • Bridge is designed to bear earthquake forces of zone V.

Highest steel pier at 130.855 M at S-40 foundation is higher than Qutub Minar of 72m