Indian Railways' Udhampur-Katra Rail Section stand Inaugurated today -- Salient details & Important features

One of the eagerly awaited and difficult rail link sees the light of the day in the form of 'Udhampur - Katra' rail section in the Indian northern most state of Jammu & Kashmir. The hostile mountainous terrain, extreme weather conditions and time-cost escalation were some of the hiccups that this rail link went through to see its operational birth today.
Jammu-Udhampur-Katra-Quazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla (JUKQSB)' Railway alignment
Today inaugurated 'Udhampur - Katra' rail section is part of the strategically planned 'Jammu - Udhampur - Srinagar - Baramullah (JUSB)' railway network in the Indian northern-most state of Jammu & Kashmir, which links the Kashmir valley with the rest of the Indian rail network. The length of this 'Udhampur - Katra' section is 25km out of the total length of 345km of the JUSB section. It has ultimately to link Quazigund to Katra and Baramullah also whereby the entire rail section would be termed as 'Jammu-Udhampur-Katra-Quazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla (JUKQSB)' Railway link. The total project was officially termed as Project of National Importance way back in March 2002, the challenging work on which has been going on since long.
Those interested in going through the entire gamut of technical and other details of this officially coined USBRL project of Northern Railway Construction Organization of India may get it on this USBRL weblink. A few of the outstanding salient features of this entire JUKQSB rail link are however listed here too for the ready reference of the readers of bricks-n-mortar(dot)com:
  • Total planned length of JUKQSB rail link - 345km
  • Length of this Udhampur-Katra rail section - 25km
  • Cost expense on this 25km stretch - INR 113,275 lacs (about US$189 million)
  • Unit Cost expense of 25km stretch - INR 4,531 lacs per km (about US$7.55 million/km)
  • The 25km stretch comprises of 7 tunnels and about 30 bridges
  • The total length of the tunnels comprise more than half of the total 25km stretch
  • The stretch boasts of the longest transport tunnel in India of 11km length
  • A 1.315km long steel bridge over river Chenab shall form part of the network. Considering the sensitivity of the area in terms of possible terrorist nuisance, the structural design shall factor into possible blast load condition also for the very first time in Indian Railway history in addition to usual structural loading conditions like live load, static load, dynamic load, wind load, snow load, etc.
Railway Bridge over Chenab River
Bridge over Chenab River (Reportedly the highest bridge in the World)
All in all, the project is nothing less than a pride project for India and Indians. BricksnMortar Edesk congratulates the entire (wo)men, machinery and the shear will & planning behind this project.

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