Caijiagou Railway Viaduct

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Caijiagou Railway Viaduct
蔡家沟铁路桥
Liduzhen, Chongqing, China
561 feet high / 171 meters high
472 foot span / 144 meter span
2013


The largest railway viaduct on earth, the colossal Caijiagou Railway bridge is part of the new double track Yu-Li Railway line near Fuling and Chongqing city that will eventually connect with the Yichang to Wanzhou line that is almost completed in nearby Hubei Province.  Completed in 2013, it is now possible to travel by rail from Shanghai to Chongqing in just 8 hours.

A multi-span monstrosity on a scale never seen before on a railway bridge, Caijiagou has 41 piers including one that reaches a height of 456 feet (139 meters), the second highest pier on any railway bridge in the world after the 459 foot (140 mtr) pier of the Viaduct 13 bridge in Brazil.  If measured from the top of the deck straight down to the top of the foundation, the structure is 495 feet (151 mtrs) - the tallest railway bridge support ever built. The massive piers are shaped like the Chinese character 人 to keep the huge structure stable.  The beams resting on top of the piers are 3.632 meters thick at the midspan and 11.923 meters thick over the piers.  The total length of the bridge is 1 and a quarter miles or 2.05 kilometers.

The Xinqiao Railway Viaduct on the same line just east of Caijiagou is nearly as impressive with an even longer length of 2.55 kilometers but a little lower in height. Like Caijiagou, Xinqiao has 人 shaped piers that support 2 high speed rail lines. These are far and away the two largest railway viaducts ever built. Each viaduct has 4 piers that are 100 meters or taller. Only Brazil's Viaduto 13 has more with five (though if built today Viaduto 13 would only be built with 3 piers over 100 meters tall). The only other railway bridge that has a similar scale of height and length is the herculean Daishagou Railway Bridge in Shanxi Province with 4 piers over 100 meters tall and a length of 1.835 kilometers - nearly all of it over 80 meters in height. There are no other railway bridges on earth that have more then 2 piers 100 meters or taller.   



Caijiagou Railway Viaduct Elevation


地球上最长的铁路高架桥梁,蔡家沟铁路特大桥是新建的双线铁路渝-利线上的一座桥,位于涪陵区和重庆市区之间,这条铁路线未来将会和几将建成的湖北重庆间的宜万铁路线相连。未来五年内整个铁路网建成之后,从上海乘列车到重庆也就可能仅仅需要8个小时。

这么一座如此规模的多跨庞大结构,铁路线上前所未有,蔡家沟大桥共建有41个桥墩,其中之一将高达139米高,排在巴西境内的墩高140米的高架13#大桥之后,位列世界上所有铁路桥中的第二高度铁路桥墩。这个巨大的桥墩的造型与中国汉字“人”相同,以保持结构的稳定。梁体在跨中高3.632米、墩顶高11.923米。全桥长1.25英里(2.05公里)。


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Caijiagou is easy to see from the highway that connects Fuling to Chongqing City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The older Xiyangxi highway is also quite large with a height of more then 90 meters! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The towers support twin tracks with 3 main spans of 144 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The above and below views may look similar but if you look closely you can see they are two different bridges. Image by www.bycmw.com.


The Xinqiao Railway Viaduct is very similar to Caijiagou but is located on the opposite side of a mountain tunnel east of Caijiagou across an even wider valley with a length of 2.55 kilometers though the piers are not nearly as high. The easiest way to tell the two viaducts apart is Caijiagou has a cross member inside of each 人 shaped pier openings while the eastern viaduct has no cross members within the piers. The Xinqiao Viaduct also has 4 piers shaped like a 人 while Caijiagou has only 3.


Xinqiao Railway Bridge pier construction.


Caijiagou Railway Viaduct pier construction.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com




A satellite view of the Caijiagou Railway Viaduct under construction just north of the highway. The Yangtze River is at the bottom.


You can click in to the above satellite close up for a more detailed view of the Caijiagou Railway Viaduct.


A satellite view of the massive Xinqiao Railway Viaduct east of Caijiagou.


You can click in to the above satellite close up for a more detailed view of the Xinqiao Railway Viaduct.


A wide view showing the 2 massive railway bridges with the 2 kilometer long Caijiagou Viaduct in the upper left and the 2.55 kilometer Xinqiao Railway Viaduct in the upper right that are separated by a 2 kilometer tunnel. These are arguably the two largest railway viaducts on earth!

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