Sunday, January 29, 2017

The British Legacy In Bridges – Indian Railways

We started using railways long back. As back as 1953 for passenger transportation and some more decades back in mining areas. A lot of tracks were built during British colonial era. Post-independence we continued the process of building new routes, changing the gauges albeit at a lower speed than required. In many previous articles, we talked about this in length. Today we will look at some mind-blowing numbers (this will blow the mind of people who are going to use those railway assets as well).

In Indian railway system,
Total number of bridges - Over 1,36,000.
Bridges which are more than 140 years old – Over 6,000 (4.41%+)
Bridges which are more than 100 years old (including 140+) – Over 35,000 (25.7%+)
Rate of Replacement of Bridges – as per the claims 600/year.
Years required to replace all 140+ years old bridges – 10 Years
Tracks which already past their prime – 1,15,000 KM.

Numbers are from BS.

To be fair to British, bridges built during British era were very good. In my town, there are two river bridges built during colonial era – one of it is still in use. The other one was decommissioned more than a decade back. Interestingly the new bridge came up near decommissioned one had holes with in some months of its operation and shutdown twice for repairs.

However, this need not be the case everywhere.

Very old bridges are indeed a safety concern. The faster we replace it the better.


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