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New Delhi, Jun 5: Indian Railways is undertaking construction of the world's highest railway bridge over the Chenab river between Katra and Laol in Jammu and Kashmir.

To be built at a height of 359 metres over the river Chenab, the bridge will be 35 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower of Paris, sources in the Northern Railway said.

Currently, the world's tallest bridge is on France's Torn river.

Its tallest pillar has height of 340 metres while the actual height at which the trains run on the bridge is 300 mts.

The bridge being built in Jammu and Kashmir will have trains running at a height of 359 mts above the river.

Being constructed by the Konkan Railway at a cost of Rs 512 crore, the Railway bridge between Salal and Laol railway stations near Riyasim, will be one of its kind not only in India but also in the world.

According to design engineers of the Konkan railway, the bridge will consist of two decks resting on an arc made of steel.

This arc on which the bridge will rest will also be the largest in the world with a length of 1315 mts.

In addition, the bridge will also have the longest undivided railway line at 1030 mts, unlike other bridges where the railway line is usually a combination of several separate small parts.

The construction work on the bridge is in full swing and if all goes well, it will be completed in 30 months time, by 2009, Konkan Railway project director M S Rana told sources.

To facilitate the smooth construction of the bridge, the Northern Railway had to built a link from the National Highway No 1A to the construction site so that the construction material could be sent there, Mr Rana said.

The bridge will also be unique in the sense that it will involve less use of cement and more of steel. According to rough estimates, 26,000 tonnes of steel will be used in the construction of the bridge. In comparison 36,000 tonnes of steel was used in the construction of the bridge in France.

While the design of the bridge was drawn up with help from Leonard and partners of Germany and Koters of Finland, the Afcons company (India) and Koters (Finland) are assisting in the construction.

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