Indian Railways is one of the largest rail networks in the world, and over the years, authorities have made efforts to improve and expand the overall system to connect remote areas of the country. Currently, Indian Railways is undertaking an engineering marvel in Jammu and Kashmir – the construction of the world’s highest railway bridge. The construction of the bridge is in the last phase, and before opening the bridge for operation, Indian Railways is inspecting the bridge. A new video has surfaced online, where we see a Mahindra Bolero with minor modifications being used as a rail vehicle for inspection.
So it was a Mahindra Bolero converted into a rail vehicle that was one of the first vehicles to run on the world's tallest railway arch bridge at Chenab, J&K, leading the inspection trolleys of @AshwiniVaishnaw. The bridge at 359 m is taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.… pic.twitter.com/AMI1rHYgV3
— Rajendra B. Aklekar (@rajtoday) March 27, 2023
The video has been shared by Rajendra B Aklekar, a journalist and author. The bridge, constructed in Jammu and Kashmir across the Chenab River, is 359 meters above the riverbed and taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is the world’s highest railway arch bridge.
In the video that has now surfaced online, we can see a Mahindra Bolero with employees inside. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is also sitting in the inspection trolley. The Bolero is inspecting the railway tracks, and to make things easier, it has been converted into an inspection trolley. Other than the original wheels and tyres, the Bolero gets additional metal wheels at the front and rear, like a trolley or a loco. The metal wheels guide the MPV through the track, while the regular tyres provide additional support and power. The Mahindra Bolero is a RWD MPV, and the rear wheel of the MPV pushes the car forward while the metal wheels prevent it from going off the track.
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Usually, Railways use motorized trolleys for such inspections. These trolleys have a small engine at the back and can seat around four people. In this case, the Mahindra Bolero can seat 7-8 people, and it is probably the first time we have seen a regular car being used as an inspection vehicle on a railway track. We have seen excavators and trucks used on railway tracks during the construction phase.
The world’s highest railway bridge is near completion, and it has been tested in multiple fronts. The bridge can withstand high-speed winds, earthquakes, extreme temperatures, and hydrological impacts. The construction of the main arch of the bridge was finished in April 2021, and the bridge is said to have a lifespan of 120 years. The government has invested around 1,400 crores into this project. In India, the majority of the population still relies on railways to travel as it is cheaper than taking a flight.
The bridge built over the Chenab River plays an important role as it connects the 111 km stretch from Katra to Banihal. The railway bridge built over the Chenab River is 1.3 km long and can withstand wind speeds of up to 266 kmph. It is also blast-proof. The Railways Minister said that Vande Bharat Express will soon connect Jammu and Srinagar once the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla (USBRL) rail link is fully operational. The minister also said that the construction of the bridge is expected to finish by December 2023 or January 2024.
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