Record-Breaking Rail Bridge Dwarfs the Eiffel Tower, Built to Withstand Terrorist Attacks

The Chenab Bridge will become the world's tallest rail bridge 6 photos
Photo: Twitter/Ashwini Vaishnaw
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Rail bridges have fascinated humanity since the industrial revolution, and there’s still progress to be made when it comes to these jaw-dropping engineering works of art. What is gearing up to become the world’s largest rail bridge, taking away the title from a bridge in China, is set to be completed by the end of this year in Kashmir.
The Najiehe railway bridge in Guizhou, China, is currently the tallest of its kind in the world. But that will change once the Chenab Bridge is completed in India, which is expected to happen by December 2022. Then, the bridge towering over the Chenab River, at 1,177 feet (359 meters), will claim the title of the world’s tallest rail bridge, dwarfing the Eiffel Tower with its stunning 1,530-foot (467 meters) arch.

The Chenab bridge is part of a large-scale transportation project in the Himalayas, including several bridges and tunnels that connect Delhi to Srinagar (Kashmir’s summer capital) through a train ride that covers almost 560 miles (900 km).

This rail bridge “above the clouds” will not only be able to withstand powerful winds of up to 165 mph (266 kph) and challenging temperatures of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius) but was also designed to be able to face potential terrorist attacks. RFI reports that the bridge incorporates “blast-proof steel” and that it could continue to function even if one of its 17 peers got destroyed.

The location of this impressive project is both strategic and potentially risky. On one hand, as India’s only region with a Moslem majority, Kashmir is a point of contention for India and Pakistan. On the other hand, attempts to connect Delhi with Kashmir go back to the nineteenth century, when Britain tried to pioneer railways in this region several times.

The current project was also delayed several times but now seems to be back on track, with Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently sharing images of the record-breaking Chenab Bridge.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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