With 84 per cent of the construction complete, work on the new 2.05 km long Pamban railway bridge connecting Rameshwaram island to the mainland in Tamil Nadu has gathered pace.
This state-of-the-art bridge will be the country’s first vertical lift railway sea bridge and is expected to be completed by March 2023.
In March 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new bridge, and the construction began in November 2019.
The bridge will be 63 metres long and will lift by remaining parallel to the deck, allowing ships to pass through.It will allow trains to travel faster, carry more weight, and increase traffic volume between Pamban and Rameswaram.The sea bridge is being executed by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) at a cost of Rs 535 crore.
The existing Pamban Rail Bridge, which connects Rameswaram to mainland India, is 105 years old. The original bridge was built in 1914 to connect Mandapam to the Rameswaram island situated in the Gulf of Mannar.
It was the only link connecting the two locations until a new road bridge was built parallel to the sea link in 1988.
“Sub structure work has been completed fully which includes 333 Piles and 101 Pile caps. Fabrication of all 99 approach spans completed, out of which 76 girders have been launched,” the Ministry of Railways said.
“Fabrication of Vertical Lift Span girders is nearing completion. The Assembling Platform for Vertical Lift Span on Rameswaram end of bridge is getting ready. Track laying work is in progress,” it added.
The bridge is 12.5 meters above sea level. Two ships will cross this bridge simultaneously, thanks to its planned automobile construction.
The vertical-lift bridge will be three metres higher than the existing bridge, with a navigational air clearance of 22 metres above sea level. It will be operated using an electro-mechanical control system interlocked with train control systems.
The new bridge will also feature several other innovative technologies, such as composite sleepers, stainless steel reinforcing, and long-lasting paintwork.