The Pamban Sea Bridge is a railway bridge constructed on the Palk Strait which connects the Island town of Rameswaram to the rest of India. This is the first ever Sea Bridge constructed in India and is about 2 KM long opened to service on 24 February 1914. So far this has been one of the most dangerous and deadly Sea Bridges ever constructed due to its low raised concrete piers just a few feet above the sea water level. The piers almost go invisible when the water level raises during heavy monsoons.The Bridge is restricted to a speed of only 15 KPH due to the double leaf bascule section midway (Cantilever), which can be raised to let ships and barges pass through. An anemometer fixed on the 56th pier over the bridge records the velocity of the wind. Whenever the velocity of the wind exceeds 58 KPH, the signals are turned red preventing any train movement on the bridge.
The bridge is located in the world’s second most corrosive environment after Florida, making its maintenance a challenging job. The location is also a cyclone-prone high wind velocity zone.The bridge consist of 143 piers and the center span is a Scherzer rolling type lift span. Each half of the lifting span weighs approximately 415 tonnes.
The Bridge was originally in Meter gauge alignment and was converted to Broad gauge in 2008.
The adjacent road bridge was opened in 1988 until then Rail and Ferry services were the only means of transport to cross the Sea.
This video covers a lot of Trains moving over the Bridge from various view points. Some spots were really risky. The stretch is non electrified between Trichy – Rameswaram and Madurai -Ramerswaram hence all trains are powered by ALCo’s only, EMD’s have never been tested on this Bridge.