USBRL PROJECT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Infrastructure)

News-CRUX-10     21st December 2023        

Context: The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project, described as the most challenging post-independence railway project in India, involves tunnelling through the young Himalayas. Of the total 272 km, 161 km has been commissioned. The Katra-Banihal section, with 87% in tunnels, includes the longest transportation railway tunnel.

Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) Project

  • About: The USBRL Project aims to construct a railway line from Udhampur to Baramulla, linking the Kashmir valley to the Indian Railways network.
  • Aim: To establish connectivity between Kashmir and the rest of the country, fostering development in the Valley.
  • Total Length: 272 km.

oDeclared as a "National Project" in 2002.

  • Terrain Challenges: The alignment of USBRL involves navigating highly rugged and mountainous terrain with complex Himalayan geology.
  • Tunnel Construction: The project includes the construction of 38 tunnels with a combined length of 119 km.
  • The longest tunnel (T-49) spans 12.75 km, making it the country's longest transportation tunnel.
  • Bridge Construction: 927 bridges are part of the project, with a combined length of 13 km.

oThe iconic Chenab Bridge, with an overall length of 1315 m, an arch span of 467 m, and a height of 359 m above the Chenab river bed, will be the world's highest railway bridge.