chappar Rift is the hidden treasure of railway in Balochistan which is about 6000 feet above sea level. The bridge was opened on 27 March 1887 in the presence of Duke Lord Roberts. Chappar Rift served as an alternate route for Quetta for about 5 years. Even didn’t know about this glorious piece of work till I reached here. The bridge was named after the Duchess who praised it and from that day it came to be known as Louise Margaret Bridge. Engineers of that time were proud when for the first time train passed from here. When the railway was introduced in this area, people use to come to see this marvelous piece of engineering.
In way of this railway line was a mountain, which was naturally cut into two pieces. It was very easy to make a tunnel from it. The easiest way out was to dig the tunnels on both sides of the mountain. These tunnels were 3 km long. The gap between the tunnels was filled with 20 pillars. The whole work was completed within a span of only 75 days. It was a large gathering to see the scenes of the train passing from one mountain to the other.
It was not possible to construct a bridge in this path. The solution made by engineers was that iron rods were fixed in mountains. The laborers tied themselves with ropes and use to come down. In this way, the holes were made inside the mountain and the gap was removed. That’s why it was considered as the wonder of the world at that time. It was also declared as the glorious piece of work in the sub-continent by the Duchess.
Then finally 11 June 1942 came when Chappar Rift was hit by a heavy storm and everything vanished. Sindh-Pishin railway was closed forever. The project of the Qandahar railway station was also closed. Meanwhile, the Second World War started. The need of iron was fulfilled from here and the railway tracks were removed. It is also believed that engineers of that time had the idea that this railway track will not survive. So on other side work was started and the point where these both lines meet is Bostan Railway Station. This Railway Station is still functional today.
My Personal Experience
I have personally visited Chappar Rift twice. First time I crossed it when I was on the bicycle during my Pakistan tour. The second time I was on a motorbike with my wife. Both times it was an amazing experience of visiting this area. Now it a tourist point and tourists often visit this spot. No one is allowed to stay here at night as it is mentioned on board here. The pillars of Chappar Rift are still inaccurate form. I believe that once u come here, you will be amazed to see this marvelous piece of engineering. Pakistan Railway must think to revive this historic part of the railway or a small museum can also be constructed for the people who are unknown with Chappar Rift.