Oxygen Express from Odisha, Bengal set to chug into Tamil Nadu

Express News Service

CHENNAI: To meet the increasing oxygen demand in view of the second wave of Covid 19, railways has commenced the works to ferry life-saving gas from Odisha and West Bengal.

First oxygen express carrying liquid medical oxygen from Rourkela expected to reach Tiruvallur station on May 16, said official sources. The second oxygen express will be operated from Durgapur, West Bengal.

To ferry the oxygen from Rourkela, an empty Oxygen Express had been dispatched from Tiruvallur on Tuesday late evening. The train comprises seven flat-type wagons, of which two are loaded with cryogenic tankers. The tankers which will be filled with oxygen on Thursday or Friday will reach Thiruvallur on May 16, said official sources.

Each cryogenic tank has the capacity to carry 13 MTs of liquid medical oxygen. “We have sent two cryogenic tanks. Depending on the availability of tanks and oxygen at Rourkela plant, more tanks will be loaded in the express. The total quantum oxygen to be ferried can be confirmed only after the tanks get filled,” said a senior railway official.

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The train will reach Rourkela in Odisha covering a distance of 1,685 km on Thursday. The train will pass through Vyasarpadi, Tiruvottiyur, Gudur, Bitragunta, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam, and Bhubaneswar. The cryogenic tankers mounted on trucks are filled with oxygen 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 unload from the railway wagon and refill them again into the Road vehicle. This helps in cutting down the transit time immensely.

“On receipt of the request from the State Government, we have mapped the movement of Oxygen Express through Green corridor between originating and 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,” added the railway official.

As height is one of the important factors in determining the speed of the train, the green corridor is mapped taking into account various factors such as structure and terrain like road over bridge, platform canopies, overhead equipment, curves, etc along the route till destination.

“We will deliver the oxygen at Tiruvallur station from there the tanks will be transported to hospitals as per the State government’s decision,” explained the official.

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