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Rameshwarum Rail Bridge opens for shipping...

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caravanman

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I visited Rameshwarum Island myself a couple of years ago, on a train from Chennai, as Madras is now known. An important temple is here, and at one time a ferry left from Rameshwarum to Sri Lanka, my train was known as the "Boat Mail Train", but the ferry no longer operates. The island is reached from the mainland by a long rail bridge. In India it is quite usual to stand at the open train door and look out while the train is moving, it is quite a sight to see the sea washing under the train from this viewpoint! I found this youtube video recently, showing the rail bridge open, and being closed by hand! I guess it must be quite keenly balanced, but still looks quite an effort to turn the cogs!

Rameshwarum rail bridge...

A second video is here, showing the view from a train crossing the bridge:

Passengers view of Pamban Bridge from a train...
 
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jis

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Interestingly, the water is much shallower under this bridge than it is under dozens of bridges across wide rivers in India. The neat thing though is that it is across an extended arm of water that links the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea.
 

caravanman

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Indeed, I remember being able to see rocks on the sea floor, but not a place to be caught in a storm. I gather an earlier bridge was destroyed in a cyclone!

A view down from the open door as we passed over the water. :)
foot.jpg
 

jis

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The construction of the high level road bridge next to it has taken some of the charm away though.

Yes, this is a substantially rebuilt bridge that was rebuilt after the original was damaged. Also the trackage on the island was significantly modified after the storm, with service to Dhanushkodi Harbor abandoned. Actually, that 15 km branch was never rebuilt after it was washed away in a 25' storm surge in the 1964 Dhanushkodi Cyclone. Only the Rameshwaram branch was rebuilt. The original trackage was Meter Gauge, and was converted to Broad Gauge sometime in the early 2000's.

This bridge is slated to be replaced by a new double track higher level bridge for which money has been allocated in the budget but no work has begun yet AFAICT.
 
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