In a massive feat, the Waltair Division of the East Coast Railway managed to construct a large subway under a four-line railway crossing within a record time of four and a half hours.
The general time in the country for constructing a limited height subway ranges from 6 to 8 hours for two lines, while the Waltair Division built a subway running under four lines in less than 5 hours, an accomplishment that was achieved with substantial planning and mobilisation of resources.
The initiative was taken as part of the Railwaysâ€™ plan to eliminate manned and unmanned crossing gates in several places across the country.
While the subway was completed roughly one and a half months ago, the approach road was recently completed and thrown open to traffic, thereby eliminating the manned level crossing that existed earlier.
The work for the subway was sanctioned in 2017 at a cost of Rs 2.6 crore.
â€śWaltair Division is a critical division on the East Coast of India for the movement of coal from Talcher area in Odisha, iron ore from NMDC in Chhattisgarh and export-import cargo from the ports of Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram. The steel produced by RINL plant at Visakhapatnam also moves to consumption centres from here,â€ť the Railways said in a press statement.
â€śWith the thrust on safety and focus on elimination of level crossing gates, Waltair Division had planned elimination of a busy manned level crossing, gate number 484 between Kottavalsa and Pendurti stations on the Chennai-Kolkata main trunk route covering 38 metres over 4 main line tracks,â€ť the press release added.
All four lines were closed to construct the subway, which consisted of 20 concrete segments of equivalent size and 15 base blocks.
â€śFor this work, heavy machinery was utilised, which included 6 heavy duty excavators, 3 heavy duty cranes, 5 tippers, 4 Hydra machines, heavyweight jacks, 1,000 sand bags and a workforce of 300,â€ť the press release said.
After the lines were closed to trains, the track was removed with the help of cranes and earth work started from both sides.
â€śSimultaneously, the shifting of boxes and base plate was done. After reaching the centre, the surface preparation was carried out and base slabs and pre-fabricated boxes were placed using heavy duty cranes. While the earth work was in progress, the boxes were lifted from both sides and placed at the requisite location,â€ť the press release added.
Authorities also released a time-lapse video of the entire construction. Watch it below.