New Dehi: Railways have successfully
completed a crucial 1671m-long tunnel on the Katra-Quazigund
section of the prestigious Kashmir rail link project at a cost
of Rs 95 crore.
"The project saw a major success on July 29 when tunnel
no. 43 between Sangaldan and Dharam, which is a part of
Katra-Quazigund section was completed," a Northern Railway
The work was complex in nature as the 1671m-long tunnel
passes through a strata of poor geology, consisting of "muree
The work on the tunnel started in June 2006 but was
subsequently suspended in July 2008 along with suspension of
all other works in the entire project. It recommenced in
September 2009, after getting a clearance from expert
The tunnelling in this poor geology of muree formation
was the biggest challenge. For the first time, elliptical
shape of tunnel cross section was adopted instead of the usual
D shape, he said.
The Jammu-Udhampur-Katra-Quazigund-Baramulla Railway line
is considered the biggest and most challenging project in the
construction of a Mountain Railway.
The route includes many bridges, viaducts and tunnels.
The longest tunnel is Pir Panjal which stretches to 11 km and
saw its day break on July 5, 2009.
The official said the alignment of the tunnel has been
found to be perfect, which is the biggest achievement in the
"The safety record of this tunnel construction too has
been excellent with not a single causality during the
execution of work," he said.
There were some initial failure by way of some collapse,
but the same has been tackled very satisfactorily through
engineering solutions, he said.
The Quazigund-Baramulla section has already been opened
to passenger traffic.