FS Group engineering consultancy subsidiary Italferr reports that works for completion of the Anji Khad Bridge, soon to be Indian Railways’ first cable-stayed bridge, are progressing rapidly and have reached a new milestone with the installation of the 96 stays supporting the structure completed in just 11 months.

The bridge is part of the larger project to construct the new Udhampur - Baramulla line, also known as the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL), in northwest India’s mountainous union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. When completed the new railway will run to the border with Pakistan, and will also link Kashmir to the rest of India.

Another view of the under-construction Anji Khad Bridge, which will carry the new Udhampur - Baramulla line across the gorge, helping to connect the cities of Katra and Reasi. Photo credit: Italferr

The bridge was designed by Italferr to enable the line to pass over a deep gorge through which the Anji River flows so it can connect the cities of Katra and Reasi. The complexity of the terrain means the bridge has an asymmetrical design, with the single tower which supports the bridge deck via the cable stays built on the more accessible side of the gorge.

In February India’s The Economic Times reported that the 272km-long USBRL project was “heading towards completion with 90% of its sanctioned cost of Rupees 370.1bn ($US 4.5bn) utilised.” The report also quoted an official as saying that the project was being personally monitored by India’s prime minister, Mr Narendra Modi, and railway minister, Mr Ashwini Vaishnaw, and the works were progressing in “top gear” on all fronts.

The Ministry of Railways first sanctioned construction of the line in phases in the 1990s - the 25km section from Udhampur to Katra in 1994, and the 118km from Qazigund to Baramulla and 129km from Katra to Qazigund in 1999. The Qazigund - Baramulla section was commissioned in October 2009, followed by the 18km Qazigund - Banihal phase in June 2013 and the 25km Udhampur - Katra section in July 2014. Meanwhile work continues on the 111km Katra - Banihal section

Italferr reports that the Anji Khad Bridge has been hailed by Jammu and Kashmir minister of railways, Ms Darshana Jardosh, as one of the most significant structures of the whole rail project.

For detailed data on rail projects in Asia and around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.