Southern Railway readies its first empty Oxygen Express from Tiruvallur, a suburb of Chennai, today i.e., 11th May, 2021 and likely to be dispatched around midnight. The Oxygen Express carrying two cyrogenic tankers mounted on MBWT type (flat type) wagons will reach Rourkela, Odisha from where the empty tankers will be filled with Oxygen and dispatched back to Tamil Nadu.
Indian Railways have started this initiative of running Oxygen Express on a mission mode to meet the requirement of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) in the treatment of COVID affected patients in different parts of the country. Under this initiative, cryogenic tankers mounted on truck are filled with Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) and loaded on to the flat wagons and transported by Rail through RO-RO (Roll- On and Roll-off) service.
This RO-RO service will facilitate door-to-door delivery of oxygen at the hospitals as required by the state governments without having to decant/unload from the railway wagon and refill them again into the Road vehicle. This helps in cutting down the transit time immensely. Further, considering its importance, the movement of these trains is being monitored at the Apex level.
As part of this initiative, Southern Railway has moved its first empty oxygen Express from Tiruvallur station at the request of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The Zone had proactively identified the suitable station capable of handling the Oxygen Express taking into account the requirements of the State. Immediately, on receipt of the request from the State Government, the originating station as well the Green corridor to move the oxygen express was mapped till the destination station.
Green corridor refers to the path in which the Oxygen Express will be run at the optimum speed without any detention by duly ensuring green signals for its seamless transportation. Also, as height is one of the important factors in determining the speed of the train , the green corridor is mapped taking into account various railway fixed structure and terrain like Road over bridge, Platform canopies, Overhead equipment, curves ,etc along the route till destination.
Today (11-5-2021), the first empty oxygen express has been readied from Tiruvallur and is expected to leave Tiruvallur by midnight after completion of all safety formalities and will reach Rourkela in Odisha covering the distance of 1685 kms. The route followed will be:- Vyasarpadi, Tiruvottiyur, Gudur, Bitragunta, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam, and Bhubaneswar. The empty oxygen express is expected to reach its destination on 13-05-2021. This Empty oxygen express comprises of 7 MBWT wagons, of which two loaded with cryogenic tankers, 2 BOM type wagons and one SLRD for the accompanying staff.
As on date, Indian Railways has delivered nearly 5735 metric tonnes (MT) of Liquid Medical Oxygen in more than 375 tankers to the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana. Uttarakhand state is set to receive its first oxygen express transported by Indian Railways today.