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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (JUSBRL) Project

Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (JUSBRL) project could easily be described as one of the biggest and most challenging railway project in the world. And in fact many railway engineers involved in the project believe this project as top of the list, even more challenging than the highly acclaimed and much talked about Tibet railway project completed by China.

Such a grand project, to my belief, deserves a thread of its own. To help this thread get started, I've scoured various places for relevant material and placed them below.
  • Some facts and a little bit of history can be found here.
  • Design features of the JUSBRL project can be found here (Warning: pdf link).
  • Some challenges faced from a geological aspects can be found in this article at Indian Society of Engineering Geology site.
  • Information about tunnels on the route can be found in this 2006 Activity Report of Tunneling Association of India, while some experiences related to tunneling on this project can be found in this book from Google library.
  • Salient features of the two major bridges on the route, the Chenab bridge and the Anjikhad bridge can be found here, here, here, here (has photos) (Warning: all these are pdf links), and here.
Members are invited to share pictures, construction and operational updates, news, etc. which they may have and/or come across.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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i remember seeing a pic of a truk carrying a train coach on the mountains to take them to srinagar i guess... it was a test run to see if they could transport huge train coaches on modified trucks through the treacherous valleys and i think it was successful...
good to see srinagar being connected to rest of the nation by train..
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Old March 13th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #3
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I think you might have seen these. Got them from IRFCA site:

[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107960&g2_serialNumber=5[/IMG]

[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107963&g2_serialNumber=5[/IMG]

[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107965&g2_serialNumber=2[/IMG]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indrajal.com View Post
i remember seeing a pic of a truk carrying a train coach on the mountains to take them to srinagar i guess... it was a test run to see if they could transport huge train coaches on modified trucks through the treacherous valleys and i think it was successful...
good to see srinagar being connected to rest of the nation by train..
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Last edited by MxC; March 13th, 2008 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Images didn't shown in original post
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Old March 13th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #4
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Kashmir Railway
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India is undertaking one of its most challenging railway projects ever by building a line to connect the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the Himalayan foothills. Far from being an ordinary scheme, the 290 km route crosses major earthquake zones, and is subjected to extreme temperatures of cold and heat, as well as inhospitable terrain.

The Kashmir Railway has been under construction since 1994 by various railway companies in India. They have been engaged in building one of the most spectacular railway lines in the world. When completed this line will link the city of Jammu in the Northern plains of India with city of Srinagar in the Himalayan Valleys and beyond. This project has had a long and chequered history but as of 2006 serious progress is being made after it was declared a National Priority Project in 2001. Planned date of completion was August 15, 2007, but several unforeseen complications have pushed back the final completion deadline to some time in 2009. The Banihal tunnel is scheduled for completion only in 2011, hence further delays are likely.
Contents
[hide]

* 1 History
* 2 The Project
* 3 Infrastructure
* 4 Rolling stock
* 5 Signaling and communications
* 6 Security
* 7 The future
* 8 Project operations
* 9 Response to criticism
* 10 Recognition of sacrifices
* 11 Current status
* 12 External links

[edit] History

1898: Maharaja Pratap Singh first explored the possibility of a railway line connecting Jammu with Srinagar. For various reasons including complications with the British government and political frictions this was put on hold.

1902: Britain proposes a rail link following the Jhelum river connecting Srinagar to Rawalpindi. This was not popular as the residents of the state lived mostly in Jammu and Srinagar and interacted via the more southerly Moghul road. Politics did not favour this proposal.

1905: Britain again proposes a link between Rawalpindi and Srinagar. Maharaja Pratap Singh approves rail line between Jammu and Srinagar via Reasi through Moghul road. This audacious line was to have involved a 2'-0" (610 mm) or 2'-6" (763 mm) gauge railway climbing all the way to the Moghul road pass at 11,000+ feet (3355 m) over the Pir Panjal Range. This can be compared to the present day Banihal Tunnel at approximately 7,000 ft (2135 m). As planned it would have been electric-powered and would have used the mountain streams as a source of hydro-electric power.

In retrospect it was perhaps just as well that it was not built. Though it would have been spectacular, the low gauge and elevated pass would have meant it was not all weather and been constrained low speed and capacity similar to the impractical Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

1947: With partition Jammu was disconnected from the united India Rail grid and a new line from Pathankot to Jammu had to be laid. It was proposed that this be extended to Srinagar but the preliminary survey of the Pir Panjal quickly squashed the thought, especially for a poor country with higher priorities.

1983: Prime Minister Indira Gandhi kicks off the line from Jammu to Udhampur. An optimistic schedule of five years and a budget of 50 Crores was set. As detailed below what happened to this line amply illustrates the wisdom of the earlier planners who had abandoned their plans when faced with reality.

1994: Railway minister Jaffer Sharief declares the need for a railway line to Baramulla and the Kashmir valley. Upon further review it was revealed that this would be a 'hanging' Railway running from Qazigund to Srinagar and on to Baramulla. The line from Katra to Qazigund through the mountains still looks unattainable.

2002 July: The Vajpayee Government declares the line a National Project. This means that it will be constructed and completed irrespective of cost. The central government will fund the entire project. This is important as the Railways do not have the now estimated cost of 6,000 Crores for the entire project. By the Railways' allocation it would have taken 60 years to complete the project.

The project is now set at a war-like priority, with money not an issue. A suitably challenging deadline of August 15, 2007, Independence Day, was also set.

2005 April 13: The Jammu to Udhampur line, all of 50 km (31 mi), is inaugurated, 21 years and 550 Crores ($130 Million US) after its commencement. The line has 20 major tunnels and 160 bridges. Its longest tunnel is 2.5 km (1.5 mi) - longer than the Banihal Pass Tunnel - and it highest bridge is 77 m 252 ft). This is in the relatively easy Shivalik Hills.

2008 February: After much speculation, the Railway Minister Confirms that new completion date is set for 2012. This is 50% over the original time limit of 10 years, from 1997 to 2007.

[edit] The Project

Kashmir has long been separated from India by a lack of suitable transport routes. Currently the only way to reach the area is by a hairpin-road journey. The area also sparks many political debates, as Kashmiri's are not sure what they want and outside forces interfere with progress.

The 290 km extension of the Indian Railway network will allow a 900 km (560 mile) journey direct from Delhi in India to Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Constructing the railway route to this isolated region has involved significant engineering challenges, and although the first short section has a 2007 opening date, other major structures are two years behind.
This article or section needs to be updated.
Please update the article to reflect recent events, and remove this template when finished.

Many bridges and tunnels are being built, including an 11 km tunnel and the world’s highest railway bridge which towers above the Chenab River.

[edit] Infrastructure

The alignment for the Kashmir Railway presents one of the greatest railway engineering challenges ever faced, with the only contest coming from the recently completed China-Tibet rail route which crosses permanently frozen ground and climbs to more than 5,000m above sea level.

Whilst the temperatures of the Kashmir Railway area are not as severe as China, it does still experience extreme winters with heavy snowfalls. However, making the route even more complex is the requirement to pass through the Himalayan foothills and the mighty Pir Panjal with most peaks exceeding 15,000 feet (4,600 m) in height.

The route includes many bridges, viaducts and tunnels – the lower section of the railway crosses a total of 158 bridges and passes through 20 tunnels, the longest of which is 11 km (six miles) in length. The greatest single engineering challenge is the crossing of the Chenab which involves building a bridge 359 m above the river bed, 1,315m long.

This bridge will be the highest railway structure of its kind in the world, 35 m higher than the tip of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Both bridges are to be simple span bridges. Cor-Ten Steel is planned to be used to provide an environment friendly appearance and eliminate the need to paint the bridge. The design and structure is very similar to the New River Gorge Bridge

It is being project managed by the Konkan Railway Construction between Salal and Laole stations. Completion is scheduled for 2009, two years after the first isolated section of the route is due to open for local passenger services, and it requires the use of 26,000t of steel.

All tunnels including the New Banihal Tunnel will be constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling method. Numerous challenges have been encountered while tunneling through the geologically young and unstable Shivalik mountains. In particular water ingress problems have been seen in the Udhampur to Katra section. This has required some drastic soltions using steel arches and several feet of shotcrete.

Even though the line is being built through a mountainous region, a ruling gradient of 1% has been set to provide a safe, smooth and reliable journey. More importantly Bankers will not be required making the journey quicker and smoother. It will be built to the Indian standard gauge of 1,676 mm gauge, laid on concrete sleepers with continuous welded rail and with a minimum curve radius of 676 m. Maximum line speed will be 100 km/h (60 mph). Provision for future doubling will be made on the major bridges. Additionally provisions for future electrification will be made, though the line will be operated with diesel locomotives initially. Kashmir is an electricity scarce region at present. There will be 30 stations on the full route, served by 10–12 trains per day initially.

The Kashmir line will connect with the Indian Railways railhead at Jammu, where a 60 km access route has been built to Udhampur. The main sections of the route are between Udhampur and Qazigund – 75% in tunnels and the responsibility of Konkan Railway Construction Corporation – with the Qazigund-Baramulla section being constructed by Indian Railways.

The second section to Baramulla is due to open in 2007. However, this will remain isolated until the remaining, more challenging part of the route including the Chenab River crossing is completed in 2009.

[edit] Rolling stock

Rolling stock for the new route will be from the existing national fleet. Both passenger and freight trains will use the new railway into and out of Kashmir. Passenger services will be provided by the new Aerodynamic HP diesel multiple units. The service will at first be provided on a 45 km section of the Qazigund-Baramulla section, running initially between Rajwansher and Anwantipora. The entire Qazigund-Baramulla section is due to open by the end of 2007.

Freight services conveying grain and petroleum products will run in between the 10–12 passengers services that are planned to operate daily.

Maintenance of all rolling stock and locomotives will be at the newly built Budgam Shed just South of Srinagar.

[edit] Signaling and communications

Three-aspect colour light signaling is being installed on the route to maintain train safety. GSM-R equipment may be installed in the future to improve the quality of the system.

There has also been mention of the Konkan Railways ACD (Anti-Collision Device) being supplied for equipment on the line.

[edit] Security

The regions the line passes through continue to face terrorist challenges. The presence of Pakistan close by aggravates these challenges. Plans for CCD cameras at all major Bridges, Tunnels and Railway Stations have been made. Additionally a special security detail to protect this infrastructure has been contemplated.

[edit] The future

The Kashmir Railway has been designated as a National Project Status, as the Indian Government is keen to improve transport into and out of the region for both parties' benefit.

The first section of the route is due to open in 2007, but it will be 2009 before a through service from central India to Kashmir is possible, due to the number of river crossings, tunnels and gorges that the railway has to cross

[edit] Project operations

The Project officially coded USBRL(Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway) starts from the city of Udhampur North of Jammu and travels for 312 km (187 mi) to the city of Baramulla on the North Western Edge of the Kashmir Valley.

Indian Railway is in Charge of the Udhampur to Katra Section (25 km) Konkan Railway is in charge of the Katra to Laole Section (90 km). This is arguably the toughest portion of the railway with over 80% of the line either inside a Tunnel or on a Bridge. IRCON, a Public Sector railway construction company is in charge of the Laole to Barramulla Section (120 km). Another tough brutal section.

HCC has won the tender to construct both the North and South Section of the 11 km Banihal tunnel for approx $120 million. Work is underway. AFCONS with Ultra Engineering (South Korea) will design and construct the Chenab Bridge for Approx $130 million. Gammon India with Archirodon Construction (South Africa) will build the Anji Khad Bridge for Approx $100 million.

[edit] Response to criticism

Consequent to recent delays and technical complication, numerous journals have attacked this project as a waste of money and a diversion from other less costly solutions.

The cost of any potential project must be first weighed against the costs. In this respect this project has always suffered. But over time it has become obvious that there are intangible effects that must be taken into account.

The final cost of the project when completed is likely to be $4 Billion+ (Rs 15,000 crore). This must be weighed against the total SDP of the Valley at roughly $10 Billion (Rs 40,000 crore). It is clear from this comparison that the SDP of the valley alone would never make this a profitable enterprise.

[edit] Recognition of sacrifices

June 2004 Sudhir Kumar, an IRCON Engineer and his Brother (name?) were kidnapped and murdered by Terrorists in the valley.

June 2005 Altaf Hussain, A laborer working in a Tunnel at Tathyar (HCC) was killed by a collapse. Two others were injured.

May 16 2007 Fancy Akther 09, daughter of Mushtaq Ahmad Wagay and Khushboo Akther 07, daughter of Mohammad Ayub Wani. Drowned in a ditch constructed by Railway Company.

Feb 14 2008 A Nepali labourer Tika Ram Balwari son of Tuya Narayan was killed after a boulder hit him in at Uri Varmul, presumably on the Kashmir rail project for HCC.

[edit] Current status

November 2006 - Test bogies have been successfully transferred to the Kashmir Valley through the Banihal Tunnel by ABC Transport Inc.

January 2007 - The Udhampur to Katra section has been delayed as engineers grapple with the first tunnel after Udhampur. The tunnel bed has experienced serious uplift and the dimensions of the tunnel have been squeezed due to an undetected fault. New date is December 2007.

February 2007 - The Rajwansher Kakapura line inside the valley is delayed due to snow & rock avalaches which have prevented the transfer of bogies. New date is May 2007. The Baramulla to Qazigund section is still on for December 2007.

March 2007 - The first two kilometers of the new Banihal tunnel are complete, one kilometer from each end. Only 9 more kilometers to go. Water seepage has become a serious issue.

May 2007 - HPDEMU successfully transferred to valley. Trial runs completed. Inauguration of Anantnag to Rajwansher line likely soon.

August 15th 2007 - First Valley section from Rajwansher to Kakapura is planned for inauguration on Independence Day. Rest of the section by year end. No word on Katra Section.

August 17th 2007 - Inauguration delayed to end of year as Station facilities are not complete.

August 22nd 2007 - First Trial run within the valley was successfully completed today. Signaling systems still not complete. Second train set with 10 coaches is still sitting in Jammu. Two sets will be needed for service and inauguration is waiting for their transport into the valley.

Sept 4th 2007 - Per note to Parliament, Revised cost is estimated as Rs 11,300 Crore (Approx $2.5 Billion) versus original estimate of Rs 3000 Crore. Rs 1700 crore sanctioned for 2007, Rs 3900 has been spent to date. Revised timetable Baramulla-Qazigund May 2008, Udhampur Katra December 2008 (Due to Faults in Tunnels), Katra-Qazigund 2011-2012. Note that original completion date was August 15, 2007.

Sept 30th 2007 - The first accident occurs. Two Bogies of a Three bogie trial consist derail and overturn at Ompura Station. Sabotage is NOT suspected. As there still no passengers, no injuries were reported. Damage to train is minor.

October 2nd 2007 - A decision has been made by CM Ghulam Azad to open then line once the 70 km from Anantnag to Rajwansher is complete in June 2008. This is a disservice as the 25 km from Kakapore to Budgam is already complete and could be operated at this moment.

January 2nd 2007 - Construction on the Katra to Laole section (90 Km, most geologically difficult)has slowed to a crawl as mounting labor disputes over pay and local involvement take their toll. Present rate of tunneling progress is roughly 70 meters per month versus a normal 200 meters a month (60% of this section is in tunnels). At this rate this section will require 16 years for completion.

February 26th 2008 - Per Railway Minister Laloo Yadav's budget, section within Kashmir Valley, most probably Qazigund to Rajwansher will begin operations in 2008-2009. Per budgeting Udhampur to Qazigund has been pushed to 2012. No mention of Udhampur to Katra after recent tunneling difficulties. Further delays are to be expected.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #5
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Nice to see megaproject like this in state of J & K. very important for its development. I'll hope I get to travel in this train route some day. Must be one of the most breathtaking one in the world once completed.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

www.railway-technology.com

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Old March 14th, 2008, 02:31 AM   #7
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Cool!
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Harsh's Photo Thread / Bharadwaj's mini South India Trip

Webcams Thread / Hyderabad Cityscapes

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Old March 14th, 2008, 03:54 AM   #8
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Thumbs up JUSBRL

Quote:
Originally Posted by harsh1802 View Post
Cool!
Guys,
It is a good idea that you hav estarted this thread.
Do you have any photographs of the present status?
All the best. Let us make this forum a High light of "INDIA as a Nation winning over all Challenges"
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Old March 14th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #9
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So good. Train to paradise on earth..
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Old March 14th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #10
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Guys, there are lot of posts in Jammu and Kashmir Project thread related to the JUSBRL project. Can we cross post or transfer them from that thread to this thread.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 09:54 PM   #11
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Some of the existing posts are already linked in the first post of this thread. I searched and have linked few more below:Feel free to consolidate more related posts under this thread if and when you find them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skganji View Post
Guys, there are lot of posts in Jammu and Kashmir Project thread related to the JUSBRL project. Can we cross post or transfer them from that thread to this thread.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 09:57 PM   #12
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Is this image from the JUSBRL project, or is it a generic image?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hindustani View Post
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Old March 14th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #13
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I don't know why, but images are not showing up once again in my post quoted below. I'm trying one more time, and also pasting their actual links in case the pics do not load again:
http://www.**********/gallery/main.ph...serialNumber=2
http://www.**********/gallery/main.ph...serialNumber=2
http://www.**********/gallery/main.ph...serialNumber=2


[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107959&g2_serialNumber=2[/IMG]
[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107962&g2_serialNumber=2[/IMG]
[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107965&g2_serialNumber=2[/IMG]


Quote:
Originally Posted by MxC View Post
I think you might have seen these. Got them from IRFCA site:

[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107960&g2_serialNumber=5[/IMG]

[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107963&g2_serialNumber=5[/IMG]

[IMG]http://www.**********/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=107965&g2_serialNumber=2[/IMG]
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Last edited by MxC; March 14th, 2008 at 10:33 PM.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 10:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hindustani View Post
this aint india...
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Old March 14th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #15
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The people in the pic do not look like Indians to me. So yeah I tend to agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indrajal.com View Post
this aint india...
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #16
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This picture is from the same page.. as the other pic.. still i am not sure if hte other picture is from Kashmir railway.

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Old March 15th, 2008, 03:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusionist View Post
This picture is from the same page.. as the other pic.. still i am not sure if hte other picture is from Kashmir railway.


This picture is of the Udhampur Railway Station.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MxC View Post
The people in the pic do not look like Indians to me. So yeah I tend to agree.
not it isnt india, the sleepers look like wooden ones
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Old March 15th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #19
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Bridge to a WORLD RECORD.
The world's tallest rail bridge is coming up over the chenab, connecting kauri and Bakkal in J&K's Reasi district.Standing 359m when completed, it will be 5 times as high as Qutub Minar, 35m taller than Eiffer Tower and 17m higher than the present record holder Millau Bridge (342m) in France.

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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #20
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I was wondering about the security of the two mega bridges that are being constructed on the route. Does someone knows how is railways planning to protect these bridges. I'd think a 24 hrs CCTV system capable of night vision even during bad weather must be part of the security apparatus.
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