The Railways has delivered nearly 14,500 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in over 884 tankers to various states since it started its operation, the national transporter said on Saturday. So far, 224 ‘Oxygen Express‘ trains have completed their journey and brought relief to various states, while eight others, loaded with over 563 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in 35 tankers, are currently on their way, it said.
‘Oxygen Express’ trains have been delivering over 800 tonnes of LMO to various states each day, the statement from the Railways said.
Relief by ‘Oxygen Express’ trains has reached 13 states — Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Till Saturday, 614 tonnes of oxygen has been off-loaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3,463 tonnes in Uttar Pradesh, 566 tonnes in Madhya Pradesh, 4,278 tonnes in Delhi, 1,698 tonnes in Haryana, 98 tonnes in Rajasthan, 943 tonnes in Karnataka, 320 tonnes in Uttarakhand, 769 tonnes in Tamil Nadu, 571 tonnes in Andhra Pradesh, 153 tonnes in Punjab, 246 tonnes in Kerala and 772 tonnes in Telangana, it said.
Different routes has been mapped with oxygen supply locations and the Railways keeps itself ready with any emerging need from the states. The states provide tankers to the Railways to bring the LMO, it said.
‘Oxygen Express’ trains started their deliveries 28 days back on April 24 in Maharashtra with a load of 126 tonnes and it was on April 19 that empty tankers left from Mumbai to be loaded with oxygen, it said.
The Railways crisscrossed the country and picked up oxygen from Hapa, Baroda, Mundra in the west, Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the east, and delivered oxygen to Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh via complex operational route planning scenarios, the national transporter said.
The average speed of these critical freight trains is above 55 km/hr in most cases over long distances, it said.
In a first, an ‘Oxygen Express’ train piloted by an ‘All Female Crew’ arrived in Bengaluru on Saturday with 120 tonnes of medical oxygen from Jamshedpur.
“This ‘Oxygen Express’ train piloted by an all female crew will ensure continued supply of oxygen for COVID-19 patients in the State,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.