Pamban Railway Bridge

The main land of Indian peninsula is connected with Rameswaram Island through a Road and a Railway bridge ,  These two bridges commonly referred as Pamban Bridge.

The Rail bridge:

Pamban Rail Bridge

Pamban railway bridge was the first Indian  bridge which is built across the sea. It is generally referred  as The queen of Indian bridges . The efforts for built a bridge across Pamban channel (Palk strait) was proposed by 1870’s by british government  however the construction of Pamban bridge was commenced on 1911 and commissioned on 1914.

Pamban Rail bridge at 1914

The following table depicts the short historical notes on train service to Rameswaram island.

1902  Train  service started from Madurai – Mandapam
1906 Railway Tracks laid between Pamban and Rameswaram
1908 Train service started between Pamban and Rameswaram
1911 The cantilever Rail bridge across the sea was commenced
1914 The pamban Rail bridge has been completed and train service started

Until 1988 Pamban rail bridge is the only connection path between Rameswaram and the main land of India.

This bridge starts its service of connecting Rameswaram island from the date of February 24, 1914. It is a cantilever bridge(In this bridge two cantilever arms fitted in the piers extending from either  sides and  meeting at the center without supports, this kind of structural design is termed as cantilever structure).

The bridge spans a length of 6776 feet (2065 meters) and has 143 piers. There is a double leaf bascule  in the center of this bridge. This bascule section opens up and let the ships and boats to cross the pamban bridge over the sea.Based on the records averagely there are 10 to 15 large boats or ships (coast guard boats, cargo ships, container ships etc.,) pass beneath this bridge every month.. The bascule was designed by “Scherzer” a German engineer, the bascule part of the bridge is called as “Scherzer rolling type lift span” and have the length of 220 feet and weight of 200 tonnes (each leaf weighs 100 tonnes separately). Till datethese heavy weight leaves are lifted manually by workers operating levers on either side.

The  environment where The Pamban rail bridge stands is said as worlds second most corrosive environment and also this region is a  Cyclone prone and high velocity wind zone.

Cyclone Attack:

On December 23, 1964 A Super cyclonic storm struck the pamban bridge with the velocity of 240 Km/Hour after  swept off the entire dhanuskodi and  upturned the.  Pamban-Dhanuskodi passenger Train with 150 passengers.

Part of the Pamban  Railway bridge was shattered and broken  because of the  catastrophe.

After this disaster The Indian Railway Engineers team had been came  up with a  6 monthplan  to set back the tracks on place and repairing of bridge.

By let everybody in amazement , The bridge was renovated and restored again in just 46 days under the leadership of I.E.S officer E.sreedharan renowned as Metro man.

For his quick heel action to the pamban bridge he was honoured by  Railway minister Award by that year.

The Indian Railway upgraded this bridge to broad gauge  in august 12,2007.

On January ,2013 (one of the pier is repaired due to the minor damage caused by a cargo ship).

The 100 year old queen – UNESCO’s heritage status

The 100th year celebration of the pamban rail bridge was performed in 2014 February 24. Recently Pamban bridge is nominated for UNESCO’s heritage status.

crossing catastropical events, accidnts, flowing tides and years the queen of indian bridges(the pamban bridge) stands with a everlasting smile in the palk strait as a gigantic engineering marvel.

Astonishing Facts about Pamban Rail bridge

Pamban Rail Bridge

Pamban Railway Bridge Map:

To Know about Pamban Road Bridge click here.