IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020 - 112

la carretera JVC, que se extendía
-aproximadamente 200 millas. La construcción tardó cuatro años y se completó en 1887. El costo anual de mantenimiento de la carretera era muy alto, de
aproximadamente US$ 500 por milla
y el dinero se gastaba principalmente
en reparar las cuñas de sujeción y los
puentes, que a menudo eran arrastrados
por el agua. La difícil y costosa tarea
de comunicar el transporte había sido
un gran obstáculo para el desarrollo de
los recursos de la zona y, por lo tanto,
la prosperidad del valle. El gobierno de
Cachemira tenía una buena razón para
desarrollar una mejor comunicación a
lo largo de esta ruta.
La idea de construir ferrocarriles
hacia Cachemira había estado en consideración desde 1886, pero la disponibilidad limitada de combustible presentaba un problema. Había madera en
toda la ruta, pero su uso constante sería
altamente perjudicial debido a las laderas deforestadas. El carbón se tendría
que traer de áreas remotas, como Bengala, lo que resultaría demasiado costoso. Estas consideraciones influyeron en
la utilización de la abundante potencia

de los arroyos para hacer funcionar el
ferrocarril. La tracción eléctrica ofrecía ventajas, como el uso de motores
más ligeros que tenían una mejor adherencia que las locomotoras de vapor, ya
que los ferrocarriles basados en motores a vapor no podían superar pendientes pronunciadas sin la ayuda de un riel
de rack. Ya existían varios ferrocarriles que funcionaban con este método,
incluida la línea Sansstad-Engleberg
cerca de Lucerna, Suiza.
En 1890, el General de Bourbel, ingeniero en jefe del estado, realizó un
relevamiento para encontrar las rutas
ferroviarias más adecuadas hacia el
valle. Se estimó que el ferrocarril iba
a costar aproximadamente 300 lakhs
de rupias indias (US$ 10 millones). Era
una suma demasiado grande para que
Kashmir Durbar dispusiera a menos
que el proyecto se abriese a empresas
privadas. Los británicos perdieron interés en el plan una vez que lo percibieron como de menor relevancia geoestratégica. Sin embargo, el proyecto
ferroviario se tomó en serio una década
más tarde, luego de que se instaurara
la energía hidroeléctrica en el estado.

El proyecto requirió la cooperación del
gobierno británico y el estado de Cachemira. Se planeó que la línea comenzara en una estación en Sarai Kala más
allá de Rawalpindi en el Ferrocarril
Noroeste de la India, que sería de vía
ancha (5 pies, 6 pulgadas) y funcionaría
con potencia de vapor. El tramo de Cachemira sería de vía estrecha (vía métrica), propiedad del Estado de Cachemira y operado por electricidad, lo que
reduciría el costo en US$ 2 millones.
El terreno naturalmente suelto en
esa parte del Himalaya provocaba
deslizamientos desastrosos y la caída
de enormes rocas cada vez que llovía
inusualmente fuerte. Toda línea de ferrocarril que llegara a Cachemira tenía
que viajar a lo largo de esas laderas. Se
tendría que cortar un estante en la ladera y construir una plataforma firme
y nivelada. Los ingenieros consideraron que la topografía no era adecuada
para un ferrocarril, creyendo que ni
siquiera una línea eléctrica ligera sería
factible en la ruta del valle de Jhelum.
Después de la invención del sistema de
monorriel de Louis Brennan, el gobierno de Cachemira esperaba resolver la

figura 11. La pose oficial del coche de monorriel autopropulsado Brennan. (De "The Brennan monorail system" (El
sistema monorriel de Brennan), The Engineer, pág. 510, Nov. 12, 1909).
112	

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020

Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020 - Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020 - 2
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - Spanish - September/October 2020 - Cover4
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