The longest bridge in Gujarat, measuring 1.2 kilometres, is being built over the Narmada river under the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor project. A total of 24 river bridges are planned along the route. Among them there are 20 bridges in Gujarat and the remaining four are in Maharashtra.
Rajendra Prasad, Managing Director of National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), emphasised the need for meticulous planning during the construction of river bridges. He explained, “Our engineers worked at a height of 26 metres for the construction of the Ambika River bridge. During the construction of the Mindhola and Purna River bridges, we closely monitored the tides of the Arabian Sea.”
The progress can be seen through the “before and after” images shared by the railways. One of the bridges, spanning the Ambika River and measuring 200 metres in length, showcased the challenges of dealing with steep river banks and rocky strata during construction. The second bridge, crossing the Purna River and being the longest at 360 metres, faced difficulties due to rising water levels during high tides. Lastly, the Mindhola River Bridge, spanning 240 metres, required continuous monitoring of tides from the Arabian Sea.
Apart from the bridge construction, work is also progressing on the eight high-speed rail stations in Gujarat. These stations include Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati. The first phase of the bullet train project is anticipated to be launched in 2026.
As for the safety precautions, NHSRCL, which is implementing the project, said that all bullet trains will be equipped with an advanced signalling system that is used by Japan for its Shinkansen trains. The Shinkansen trains are renowned for employing an Automatic Train Control system and a comprehensive system of Automatic Train Protection. The trains are managed through centralised traffic control and all tasks relating to the trains, tracks and schedule are computerised.
Once the project is completed, passengers will be able to travel on these high-speed trains that will run at 320 km per hour. There will be three different classes in the trains, which will have modern toilets for men and women as well as for those who use wheelchairs.
NHSRCL has said that the bullet trains that will run on the MAHSR corridor will cover 580 kilometres and 12 stations. Earlier, in April, the NHSRCL announced the completion of the first level of the Anand/Nadiad high-speed railway station. It’s the first station on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Corridor.