Northern Railways Approved tenders of 6.15 crore to repair Kalka-Shimla heritage track

The world-famous Kalka-Shimla train line, which was damaged earlier this month by landslides and torrential rain, would need major repairs, thus the northern railways have put out tenders for the job worth Rs 6.15 crore.

For urgent maintenance on the rail track and the associated infrastructure, the route has been closed until August 6. The railways’ solicited bids call for in-depth repairs that would undo the harm done by rain, hill/landslides, and trees falling onto the tracks.

Slope protection and landslip monitoring systems, tunnel grouting, bridge restoration and retaining wall replacement are some of the tasks that must be accomplished in accordance with the tenders. The bids must be submitted by the tender deadline of August 10; once chosen, the project should be finished in 45 days.

The 96 km long Kalka-Shimla Railway was constructed in the middle of the 19th century as a narrow gauge, single-track functioning rail link serving Shimla. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are both in the way of the railway. At a height of more than 2,000 meters, Shimla served as the colonial government’s summer residence at the time, and its construction was planned for the middle of the 19th century to serve Shimla.

A lot of engineering design work was necessary for the construction, which was particularly challenging because it was located in a mountainous area for two-thirds of its entire length. It was finally finished between 1899 and 1903, after much delay. This railway, which at the time of construction had the world’s tallest multi-arc gallery bridge and the world’s longest tunnel, is proof of the excellent engineering capabilities of the day.

Three districts in the two states are traversed by the line geographically. Section 1 in Haryana’s Panchkula district runs from Kalka Station to just before Taksal (km 3.7). In Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district, Section 2 runs from Taksal to a location close to Kathlee Ghat (km 74.2). In the Himachal Pradesh district of Shimla, Section 3 runs from Kathlee Ghat to the station at the end of the line (km 96.6).

It originates in the 656 m-high town of Kalka, from where it extends the Indian railway system’s standard gauge to the Himalayan range.

The route then ascends to an intermediate plateau at an elevation of roughly 1500 m, where it serves multiple stops, before climbing to the terminus town of Shimla, the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, at an elevation of 2,075 m.

3% of the line’s total length, or 988 bridges and viaducts, are on this route. The largest bridges feature multiarch masonry galleries (74), some of which are in multiple levels like to Roman aqueducts. Over 90% of the line’s length, or 917 curves, are present. The majority of these curves are severe and extend into tunnels and across bridges as well as the rest of the route.

107 tunnels made up the line’s initial layout. This number is now down to 102 as a result of landslides. 8% of the line’s length is made up of the tunnels’ entire length. Senior railway officials should be made aware that several stone retaining walls require repair as a result of weather damage.

 

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