The Pamban railway bridge is the first vertical lift railway sea bridge of India. The Indian railways had started the construction of the first pillar of the bridge at Pamban in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu however, it is now a fast track project.
The government of India had been focusing on the developments which included the construction of various bridges, railways tracks, planes, such as the Mumbai-Delhi animal bridge, the Chakra bridge, even the Sabarmati seaplane and so on.
The construction of the railway sea bridge is expected to be completed in the next two years. The 2.07 km long bridge connects Mandapam in Tamil Nadu and Rameshwaram in the Pamban Island.
The Indian Railways has considered it one of the most challenging infrastructure. The construction of the vertical lift railway sea bridge is on the fast-track. The Pamban bridge will enhance the convenience of the pilgrims who come to visit the sacred place, Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi, said Piyush Goyal, Railway Minister.
Earlier an old bridge was used to connect the mainland India and Pamban Island. The budget of the construction of the vertical lift sea bridge is around Rs 280 crores. The old bridge required regular maintenance and was not able to compete with the train activities. The bridge is about 2,058 metres long and was built more than a 100-years ago. It was decided that the non-functional bridge should be replaced with a newer and advanced one.
The project of the bridge is given to the Railway Vikas Nigam who is expected to spend Rs 250 crores in the construction work. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone in March 2019 at Kanyakumari. This bridge will allow the trains to travel at high speed with heavy baggage. The project is expected to boost the traffic to Pamban Island and Rameshwaram.
The original bridge was built in 1914 that was the link between Rameshwaram and the Pamban Island. It was followed by the construction of a new bridge parallel to the link in 1988. The bridge had Flaps to permit the ferries to move around. It rested on concrete piers with flaps that allowed the movement of barges and ships.
However, it was found that the old bridge was not able to keep up with the infrastructural development and advancements. This is the reason the Railway minister ordered for a new bridge to be constructed.
The new bridge will be three-metre higher with navigational air clearance of 22 metres above sea level. The Pamban bridge will use ‘Scherzer’ rolling lift technology allowing it to open horizontally. It also has a horizontal width of 63m for navigation that will be done through the sensors. The new bridge has an electro-mechanical controlling system which will work in tandem to the railway control system.