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HomeEditors Pick : Top StoriesWhy China has so many rail bridges?

Why China has so many rail bridges?

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A a majority of the tallest and highest railway bridges — all over the world are in China. China has one of the world’s most elaborate and fast-moving rail transport network known for comfort, convenience, safety, and punctuality. Ironically, 9 out of the world’s 10 highest railway bridges are located in China. All the World’s 20 tallest bridges over 300 meters except 3 are in China.

Not too long ago, it was said that there can be no three days without rain and no three acres of land without a mountain in Guizhou once a remote and inaccessible province of China. Now of course it is not possible to imagine a three kilometer expressway without a high bridge in Guizhou.

Today Guizhou in China has more tall and high bridges than any other country on planet earth. At this rate, Guizhou will have more than 250 bridges over 100 meters high by 2020. At this rate, it will soon by-pass Italy which has the world’s second largest number of bridges exceeding 100 meters in height.

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It is hence hardly surprising that Lancang River Railway Bridge an arch bridge – linking the cities of Baoshan and Dali in western Yunnan Province, China will soon take over as one of the highest in world. Once completed, the bridge, 271 m above the Lancang River and having a span of 342 m will also stake its claim as one of the longest arch bridges ever built. The bridge is expected to be completed in 2018.

Najiehe Railway Bridge (310 m)

The Najiehe – a 310 m high steel arch bridge in the Guizhou province of central China is the highest railway bridge in the world and also one of the longest arch bridge with a span of 352 m.

The Wu River also known as the Sancha River – connected by the Najiehe Railway Bridge has more high bridges across its waters than any other river in the world. The single track railway line has several other high bridges along its route. The Wu River has a greater number of high bridges across its waters than any other river on earth with almost two dozen crossings exceeding 100 meters in height.

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Yachi Railway Bridge (300 m)

Designed for high speed trains from Guiyang to Chengdu, the Yachi Railway Bridge has a height of nearly 300 meters and a main arch span of 436 meters.


Qinglong Railway Bridge (295 m)

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Qinglong Railway Bridge built at the cost of $66 million in the Qinglong County of Guizhou is the world’s longest concrete arch bridge. The bridge on the railway line between Guiyang and Kunming is the highest ever high speed railway bridge ever built. It crosses the Beipan River just downstream of the Guangzhao Dam and has an Arch shape with thick concrete bulwarks at the end of each Arch.

Beipanjiang River Railway Bridge (283 m)

The 283 meter high railway arch bridge connecting Guiyang and Kunming across Beipanjiang River is a crown jewel among the world’s highest railway bridges. The world’s longest concrete arch bridge spanning 445 meters it is designed to carry high speed trains capable of reaching a speed of 250 kilometers in an hour.

Beipan River Shuibai Railway Bridge (275 m)

The arch bridge, spanning a deep canyon on the Beipan River near the city of Liupanshui in Guizhou province, China with a maximum height of 275 metres and a span width of 236 metres, used to be called the world’s highest railway bridge from 2001 to 2016, not anymore.

The word Beipanjiang (pronounced Bay-Pan-Gee-Ang) is formed by the word “bei” meaning north and “pan” meaning north-winding river. The Beipanjiang River remains the biggest obstacle between the city of Guiyang and the city of Kunming.

There are several high bridges on the Beipan river including the Beipanjiang Bridge the world’s longest high-level beam bridge on Shuipan expressway, the Beipanjiang Bridge Wang’an expressway and the Beipanjiang Bridge Zhenfeng.

Most of these bridges are spaced about 50 miles apart from each other. No other river on earth outside China has more than one or two high bridges over it – the Beipanjiang has 8 with more to come!

Nanpan River Qiubei Bridge (262 m)

The Nanpanjiang railway bridge over Yunnan River is built on a 710 kilometer long high speed railway line connecting the Guangxi capital of Nanning with the Yunnan capital city of Kunming. Located west of the Qiubei city, it ranks 3rd among the world’s longest concrete arches. Designed to carry trains that can reach the speed of 250 kilometers in an hour, it has always posed a daunting challenge to the bridge engineers.

The Nanpanjiang Railway Bridge constructed at a cost of 60 million dollars is similar to Beipanjiang Railway Bridge near Qujing, Guizhou. Both were designed by the same set of engineers with similar design and construction material. Completed in 2015, it is the fourth tallest bridge in the world, as well as the world’s highest railway bridge.

Xixihe Railway arch bridge (256 m)

The Xixihe Railway arch bridge located on the high speed, twin track railway line between Guiyang-Chengduu line is one of the world’s 10 highest railway bridges. The 256 meters high bridge

Nanjiang Railway Bridge (230 m)

Nanjiang Railway Bridge is one of the world’s highest bridge — 230 m (755 ft) high with a span of 176 m on a high-speed railway line between the city of Guiyang and Kaiyang in Guizhou, China.

Wuzuo River Railway Bridge (220 m)

The Wuzuo River Railway Bridge in Guizhou, China was completed in 2016 with a total height of 220 meters. It is a beam bridge.

Qingshuihe Railway Bridge (180 m)

Like Nanjiang Railway Bridge, the Qingshui Railway Bridge also located in the Guizhou Province – is the highest railway beam bridge on earth and ranks among the world’s 10 highest railway bridges.

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Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau is a team of seasoned journalists led by Neeraj Mahajan. Trusted by millions readers worldwide.


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