Railway Virtual Presser Describes How Oxygen Is Being Transported With Speed And Caution

Railway Virtual Presser Describes How Oxygen Is Being Transported With Speed And CautionAn oxygen express.
Snapshot
  • As oxygen tanker trucks are carried on flat bed wagons, rail transportation faces challenges including overhead electrical wires, ghat sections, speed restrictions and platform canopies among others.

    Since most of the liquid oxygen generating plants are in the eastern region, the routes have been mapped on which these trains would now move.

Amid the desperate cries for oxygen in hospitals, the Delhi government has requested Indian Railways for Oxygen Express service to save Covid-19 patients in the city.

After Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi governments too have lined up for 'Oxygen Express' services, Railway Board chairman Suneet Sharma said in a virtual presser on Friday.

Spearheading the fight against Covid-19, the Railways has taken up the task of transporting medical oxygen in a most challenging situation.

Describing the transportation of liquid oxygen on trains as an "enormous challenge", Sharma said Railways is in the forefront offering its services in the country.

As oxygen tanker trucks are carried on flat bed wagons, rail transportation faces challenges including overhead electrical wires, ghat sections, speed restrictions and platform canopies among others.

Usually, such trains are handled only at military stations. Also, moving liquid oxygen, which is a hazardous good, requires careful handling.

"There are constraints such as curves, height, ghats, tunnels...in transporting oxygen on rails. There are strict safety protocols for transporting cryogenic oxygen," Sharma said.

He further said, “We have received a demand from Delhi. It has asked for oxygen from Rourkela and some other plants."

Since most of the liquid oxygen generating plants are in the eastern region, the routes have been mapped on which these trains would move.

Railways has kept the wagons, locomotives and crew ready to move these wagons with oxygen.

One oxygen tanker is about 16 tonnes of payload; its gross load with a wagon is 30 tonnes.

About 93,000 railway employees were affected due to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Railways is trying to ensure that there is no shortage of trains for passenger and freight. This year, Indian Railways has already carried 81.25 million tonnes (MT) till April 22 against 46.72 MT in the same period last year.

"Andhra Pradesh has asked for oxygen to be moved from Angul in Odisha. We have asked the Delhi government to keep their trucks ready, and our wagons, ramps are ready in the NCR area," Sharma said.

The Oxygen Express train headed for Uttar Pradesh will reach Lucknow on Saturday, and the one for Maharashtra will reach Nagpur on Friday night.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


Comments

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.