COVID-19: Railways’ first Oxygen Express trains to deliver Oxygen in Maharashtra, UP

  • First Oxygen Express with Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tankers is going to start its journey for Mumbai from Visakhapatnam tonight, said the ministry

  • Another Oxygen Express started its journey from Lucknow to Bokaro via Varanasi to fulfil the requirements of Medical Oxygen in Uttar Pradesh

New Delhi: Indian Railway’s first Oxygen Express trains in response to its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is set to start its journey, the Ministry of Railways said in an official statement on Thursday. “First Oxygen Express with Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tankers is going to start its journey for Mumbai from Visakhapatnam tonight. Tankers filled with LMO at Visakhapatnam are being transported through Ro-Ro service of Indian Railways,” said the statement.

Another Oxygen Express started its journey from Lucknow to Bokaro via Varanasi to fulfil the requirements of Medical Oxygen in Uttar Pradesh. For the movement of the train, a green corridor was created between Lucknow to Varanasi. The distance of 270 km was covered by the train in 4 hours 20 minutes with an average speed of 62.35 kmph.

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Transportation of Oxygen through railways is faster over long distances than road transport. Trains can run 24 hours in a day but truck drivers need to take halts. “It may please be noted that to facilitate loading/unloading of tankers in/from flat wagons, a ramp is required. Also, due to restrictions of height of Road Over Bridges (ROBs) and Over Head Equipment (OHE) at certain locations, out of the various specifications of road tankers, the model of road tanker T 1618 with height of 3320 mm was found feasible to be placed on flat wagons (DBKM) with a height of 1,290 mm,” said the statement.

Railways transported essential commodities and kept the supply chain intact even during the lockdown last year. 

Availability of oxygen is a key element in the treatment of certain medical conditions in the COVID-19 infection and scarcity of the same has been making headlines across India. According to the Ministry of Railways, the state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra had approached the Ministry to explore whether liquid medical oxygen (LMO) tankers could be moved by Railways.

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