Authorities have finalized plans to turn Chenab Bridge, the tallest railway bridge in the world, into a tourist spot. The 1.3 km-long bridge, located in Reasi district of Jammu Kashmir, has a height of 359 metres over the River Chenab and it is taller than Eiffel Tower by 35 metres. An engineering marvel, the bridge was constructed with 28,660 metric tonnes of steel. The arches are reinforced with concrete and the architects have predicted a lifespan of 120 years for the bridge. According to them, the bridge would be able to resist winds of even a speed of 266 km per hour.
Chenab Bridge lies along the strategic Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla railway link project. The project, announced in 2002, is among the most challenging initiatives taken up by the Indian Railways. Chenab Bridge is located on the 111-km Katra – Banihal section of the project. The length of tunnels along the project alone is 119 km and the longest extends to 12.75 km, which is the longest transportation tunnel in India. Indian Railways also built 927 bridges under the project and they have a total length of 13 km.
Chenab railway bridge connects Baramulla with Srinagar and will reduce the travel time by seven hours when it is operational. While work on the arches was completed in April 2021, construction of the bridge was over by August 2022. Authorities are planning to conduct regular train services along the bridge by the end of 2023 or early in 2024. In a recent meeting conducted by Railway officials and engineers about the tourism prospects of Chenab Bridge decided to develop the area as a top travel destination. Reasi district in Kashmir already attracts numerous visitors to spots such as Shiv Khori, Salal Dam, Bhimgarh Fort, and Vaishno Devi temple.