Exactly Hundred years ago on this day (February 24), a train crossed the Pamban Bridge connecting the Indian mainland with Rameswaram Island writing a new chapter in the history of Indian Railways. The passing of train on this track, built over 145 pillars at a distance of 2057.5 metres across the sea, is still a sight to behold. Built in 1914, this was the first cantilever bridge constructed in India. The Southern Railway spends around one crore a year just for painting alone as it has to withstand one of the most corrosive environment in the world, next to the Mexican coast.
The bridge was badly damaged in a deadly cyclone in 1964 and it was rebuilt by none other than our Metro Man, E Sreedharan. Till then passengers used to travel to Colombo on this route via Dhanushkodi, the southern-most tip of India. From Dhanushkodi a steamer took the passengers to Talaimannar station in Sri Lanka, about 20 km away from India. Parallel to the rail bridge, a road bridge was also built in 1989.Tags: Cantiliver Bridge, Dhanushkodi, E Sreedharan, Pamban Bridge, Rameswaram Island