For the first time, the Central Railway (CR) has started an oxygen express for getting liquid medical oxygen meant for the treatment of COVID-19 patients across Maharashtra. A roll-on-rail-off (RoRo) train carrying seven empty tanker trucks on board left Kalamboli goods yard around 8 p.m. on Monday for Visakhapatnam after Transport Minister Anil Parab flagged it off.
Mr. Parab said the tankers were expected to return in four days with 100 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen. “We have a proper plan to distribute it across the State. Wherever the need is more, it will be supplied on priority. Carrying the oxygen on road is fraught with risks. So for the first time, we are trying to transport it via rail by preparing a green corridor. Depending on its success, we will increase the number of tankers next time,” the minister said.
Since Monday morning, Panvel Regional Transport Officer Gajanan Thombare and CR officials had been running checks to ensure the tankers had all the required technicalities. “Around 10 tankers were meant to be sent but due to the height issue, three were rejected. The height has to be around 3.30 metre and to match this criterion, air from tyres was released. Since there is no weight limitation, we managed to procure the tankers with weight of 15 tonnes each,” Mr. Thombare said.
CR officials said a team from the Mumbai Division had built a ramp within 24 hours at Kalamboli goods yard to facilitate loading and unloading of tanker trucks from flat wagons.
“The Ro-Ro service will pass via Vasai Road, Jalgaon, Nagpur and Raipur Junction to reach Visakhapatnam steel plant,” the CR’s public relations officer said.
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