CRS Set For 2-Day Inspection Of Crucial J&K Rail Line

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer) Jammu- Commissioner of Railways Safety (CRS) D C Deshwal will conduct a two-day inspection of the 46-km Sangaldan-Reasi section, which passes through the world's highest steel arch rail bridge over Chenab and major tunnels, later this month, an official said on Sunday.

Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railway, Deepak Kumar said the commissioning of this section depends on the CRS's inspection of this vital section of the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail LINK (USBRL) on June 27 and 28.


“The works of Sangaldan to Reasi will be completed before the scheduled inspection of CRS,” he said.

Out of the total 272 km USBRL project, 209 km was commissioned in phases with the first phase of the 118 km Qazigund-Baramulla section commissioned in October 2009 followed by 18 km Banihal-Qazigund in June 2013, 25 km Udhampur-Katra in July 2014 and 48.1 km long Banihal-Sangaldan stretch in February, this year.

With the commissioning of the 46 km Sangaldan-Reasi section, the work on only a 17 km stretch between Reasi and Katra remains pending which is likely to be completed by the year's end to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country by train – a dream project on which the work started in 1997 and has missed several deadlines given geological, topographical, and meteorological challenges.

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Official sources said the flagging of the first train between Sangaldan to Reasi is likely to be done on June 30, connecting the Reasi district in Jammu to Kashmir via railway line.

Last month, the General Manager of Northern Railway Shobhan Chaudhuri inspected the Chenab Bridge up to Sangaldan station via Motor Trolley, assessing the track, Electrical and Mechanical system and signal telecom works in the Bakkal-Duggar-Sawalkote-Sangaldan section. Chaudhuri also conducted balance activities for completing the work of Sawalkote yard, Tunnels T-42 and T-43 with engineers of Northern Railway, IRCON and Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL).

“The train service from #Ramban (Sangaldan) to #Reasi via the world's highest railway bridge built on river Chenab to begin soon. The #Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (#USBRL) project will be completed by year-end,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh wrote on 'X'.

The 1.3 km Chenab rail bridge located 359 meters above the riverbed, 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, forms a crucial link of the project. The Jammu and Kashmir Administration had already announced plans to develop the bridge as a 'tourist spot'.

The base of the steel and concrete arch bridge between Bakkal and Kauri, 42 km from Reasi town, was completed in November 2017, allowing for the start of the construction of the main arch which was done in April 2021.

Another milestone on the bridge was achieved in August 2022 when the overarch deck of the bridge was completed with a 'Golden Joint', paving the way for the laying of the track which was completed the next year. Deputy Commissioner, Reasi Vishesh Paul Mahajan, who recently inspected the railway line, said the people of the district are eagerly waiting to listen to the train's siren and its chugging on the trek.

“The commissioning of the Sangaldan-Reasi section means an alternate link between Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir. This will be followed by linking Katra station to Kashmir, heralding a new phase and the biggest achievement with the valley getting connected to Kanyakumari,” he told PTI.

Mahajan said when the train crosses the Chenab bridge, anytime soon it will be a proud moment for the country that“our engineers have gifted the highest railway bridge to the world.”

“This entire railway project is full of engineering marvels as most of the 111-km section between Katra and Banihal passes through tunnels and bridges. We have India's first cable-stayed rail bridge (Anji Khad) also here,” he said, saluting the railway for inching closer to completing the 'dream project'.

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