In the wake of high demand for medical oxygen in the country because of the wide spread of the second wave of Covid 19 pandemic, the Indian Railways will run “Oxygen Express” to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the states.
The Ro Ro service from Kalamboli with seven empty tankers moved to Visakhapatnam from where Liquid Medical Oxygen will be loaded. Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal shared a video in twitter on the movement of the Oxygen express.
Railways is running its first Oxygen Express in its fight against COVID-19. The Ro-Ro service with 7 empty tankers departed from Kalamboli, Maharashtra for Vizag today.
Oxygen Express will move via a green corridor for loading with Liquid Medical Oxygen. pic.twitter.com/TonlClDdQf
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) April 19, 2021
Taking into account the emergency of medical oxygen, the Railways immediately explored the technical feasibility of transportation of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO). The LMO has to be transported through Roll On Roll Off (RO RO) service with road tankers placed on flat wagons.
Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments approached the Ministry of Railways to explore whether Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tankers could be moved by Railways. 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 height of 1290 mm. In order to ensure that parameters of Transportation are tested, trials were conducted at various locations. Route clearances were taken and it was found that it would be possible to undertake movements as RO RO as ODC (over dimensional consignment with speed restrictions on some sections depending on overhead clearances. On April 17, a meeting between Railway Board officials and State Transport Commissioners and representatives of industry on “issues related to transportation of Liquid Medical Oxygen”. It was decided that the tankers would be organised by Transport Commissioner, Maharashtra. These empty tankers would be moved from Kalamboli/Boisar, Railway stations in and near Mumbai, and sent to Vizag and Jamshedpur/Rourkela/Bokaro, for loading of liquid medical oxygen tankers from there In pursuance of the above decision, instructions have been issued to Zonal Railways to ensure readiness to receive the trailers and load them back.
On April 18, a trial was organised at Boisar (Western Railway) where a loaded tanker was placed on a flat DBKM and all the required measurements were taken. Railways already placed DBKM wagons at Kalamboli and at other locations in expectation of movement of tankers to various locations.