The Tallest Railway Bridges in the World

Viaduct 13, in Brazil, is the largest railway bridge in South America and among the world's 25 most tall.
Viaduct 13, in Brazil, is the largest railway bridge in South America and among the world's 25 most tall.

Railway bridges can be ranked based on either their structural height or deck height. A bridge’s structural height is defined as the full vertical distance between the highest point of the bridge and lowest visible point of the bridge, where the pillars emerge from the ground whereas the height of the deck is measured as the maximum length of the vertical drop starting from the deck of the bridge to the ground below the span of the bridge. The ranking of the tallest and the highest bridges may differ depending on the choice of a ranking measure. There are many tall bridges in the world, but China has the highest concentration of the tallest railway bridges.

The 5 Tallest Railway Bridges in the World

1. Najiehe Railway Bridge - 305 m

The Najiehe Railway Bridge is the highest railway bridge in the world. It is found in the province of Guizhou, China. The bridge crosses over a human-made reservoir that was the result of the Dongfeng Dam. The bridge was opened in 2016.

2. Qinglong Railway Bridge - 295 m

The Qinglong Railway Bridge is a high-speed railway line that crosses the Beipan River downstream from the Guangzhao Dam. The bridge is located in Qinglong County, Guizhou. The Qinglong Railway Bridge is 305 meters tall. The bridge has an Arch shape, and the end of each Arch is constructed using thick concrete abutments. Qinglong Railway Bridge was built at the cost of $66 million and was opened for use in 2016.

3. Beipanjiang Railway Bridge Shuibai - 275 m

The Beipan River Railway Bridge was the world’s tallest railway bridge from 2001 to 2016. The bridge stands at a height of 262 meters. The bridge is located southwest of the city of Luipanshui in Guizhou, China. The arch shaped railway bridge spans the deep canyon of the Beipan River.

4. Nanjiang Railway Bridge - 230 m

Nanjiang Railway Bridge is a high-speed railway line located between the city of Guiyang and Kaiyang in Guizhou, China. The bridge is the fourth tallest bridge in the world at 230 m. It was completed in 2015.

5. Wuzuo River Railway Bridge - 220 m

The Wuzuo River Railway Bridge was completed in 2016 with a total height of 220 meters. It is a beam bridge found in Guizhou, China.

Why Are So Many Rail Bridges Located in China?

China has one of the world’s most elaborate railroad transport networks. The introduction of high-speed train services in 2007 has significantly reduced travel time and improved the economy of China. Based on the World Bank report, so many commuters prefer to use high-speed rail transport services because of its comfort, convenience, safety, and punctuality.

The Tallest Railway Bridges in the World

RankNameCountryHeight (Meters)
1Najiehe Railway BridgeChina305
2Qinglong Railway BridgeChina295
3Beipanjiang Railway Bridge Shuibai China275
4Nanpan River Qiubel BridgeChina262
5Nanjiang Railway BridgeChina230
6Wuzuo River Railway BridgeChina220
7Qingshuihe Railway BridgeChina180
8Caijiagou Railway BridgeChina171
9Pit River BridgeUnited States150
10Santa Giustina Railway 1959 BridgeItaly145
11Viaduct 13Brazil143
12Yesanhe Railway BridgeChina140
13Dukouhe Railway BridgeChina140
14Qinghegou Railway BridgeChina140
15Mala Rijeka ViaductMontenegro139
16West Branch Feather River BridgeUnited States137
17Fades Viaduct France132.5
18Metlac Railway BridgeMexico131
19Mashuihe Railway BridgeChina130
20Victoria Falls BridgeZimbabwe128
21Garabit ViaductFrance124
22Big Nurnus BridgeArmenia121
23Pfaffenberg-Zwenberg BridgeAustria120
24Huatupo BridgeChina120
25Luobuxi Railway BridgeChina120
26Lzigou Railway BridgeChina120
27Longwangmiao Railway BridgeChina119
28Ghotour BridgeIran119
29Ulla ViaductSpain117
30Viaur Railway BridgeFrance117

More in World Facts