Indian Railways opens nation’s longest ‘escape tunnel’ in Kashmir; Know all about Banihal-Katra route project

The tunnel, which is the fourth on the Banihal-Katra route, was constructed using a modern technique known as the New Austrian Tunnelling Method.

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Indian Railways opens nation’s longest ‘escape tunnel’ in Kashmir; Know all about Banihal-Katra route project

Staff Reporter

The Indian Railways on Thursday completed the construction of a tunnel on a 111-kilometre section of the Udhampur-Katra railway line in Kashmir. The ‘escape tunnel’, which is the longest of its kind in the country, is located at an elevation of 12.89 meters.

According to railway officials, the tunnel was constructed to allow emergency response teams to carry out rescue operations in case of an accident. It passes through various drainages and reservoirs in the Chenab River, including the Khoda, Hingni, and Kundan nullahs making its drilling and construction a challenging task.

The tunnel, which is the fourth on the Banihal-Katra route, was constructed using a modern technique known as the New Austrian Tunnelling Method. It was completed in January this year.

According to a government release, the tunnel, which is made of a horseshoe-shaped structure, connects the Sumber station yard to tunnel T-50. The elevation of the south end of the tunnel is 1400.5 meters, while the north end is 1558.84 meters.

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The elevation of the south end of the tunnel at Sumber is 1,400 meters, while the north end has a height of 1,558 meters. The tunnel, which is known as T-49, is a twin tube tunnel that connects the main tunnel with an escape tunnel. It spans a distance of 12.75 kilometres.

According to the officials, various factors such as the presence of a perched aquifer, the shear zone, and the highly jointed rock mass were encountered during the construction of the tunnel. Out of the project’s total of 272 kilometres, 161 kilometres have already been operationalized.

Another 9.8-kilometre tunnel connecting two stations was completed on the 111-kilometre section of the Banihal-Katra railway line in Jammu and Kashmir in August this year. It is part of the project known as the Udhampur-Baramulla Railway Line. This is the third tunnel of the project. A 12.6 km tunnel T-49B, the longest tunnel of Indian Railways, was completed in January this year.

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Meanwhile, the world’s highest railway bridge over the Chenab river in the Reasi district was recently finished with a golden joint. This achievement was carried out on August 14.

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