Vijayawada: The first Oxygen Express loaded with two tankers of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) commenced its journey from Durgapur in West Bengal to Krishnapatnam Port in Andhra Pradesh on 14 May. The two tankers are carrying 40 metric tonnes of oxygen.
It may be recalled that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asking for allocation of 910 MT of LMO for the state in view of the increasing COVID-19 cases.
The liquid oxygen being transported in these tanks is a cryogenic cargo that has many limitations like the maximum speed at which it can be carried, maximum acceleration and deceleration, and loading restrictions like availability of liquid oxygen tankers and loading ramps. The route mapping of the train along with the green corridor is done taking into consideration all these factors, including ensuring adequate clearance along the route in terms of curves, RUBs, and FOBs.
The Oxygen Express trains have been started by the Indian Railways to provide safe, secure, hassle-free, and fast transportation of oxygen to different parts of the country during these critical times. Under this initiative, the road tankers (both empty as well as loaded) are transported by the Railways through Ro-Ro (Roll On-Roll Off) services.
The Oxygen Express trains are operated at the request of the state governments. While the states provide the tankers, the Railways undertake to bring the oxygen to the requisitioning state in the fastest feasible mode.
Accordingly, South Central railway (SCR) has been operating these trains to meet the needs of the states covered by the zone. The zone has also operated four Oxygen Express trains for the state of Telangana, Now, the first train has commenced its journey from Durgapur with Liquid Medical Oxygen-filled tankers. It will cover a distance of 1,650 kilometers and is expected to reach Krishnapatnam Port on 15 May.
"The Railways will continue to provide utmost priority to the running of the Oxygen Express trains. Any request received on this front will be immediately processed so as to operate the trains at the earliest," said Gajanan Mallya, the general manager of South Central Railway. He advised all officials and staff to maintain continuous monitoring of the movement of this train along the green corridor.