First ‘Oxygen Express’ Train Leaves for COVID-Hit Maharashtra

The train arrived in the early hours of 23 April at Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited’s Vizag Steel Plant.

2 min read
First oxygen express train headed from Vizag to Maharastra. 

The first batch of 100 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) from the Vizag Steel Plant is being loaded onto the Indian Railways' Oxygen Express, for transportation to COVID-hit Maharashtra. The special train designed for transporting LMO arrived in the early hours of Thursday, 23 April, at Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited's Vizag Steel Plant.

"Seven empty tankers from...Maharashtra reached Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, Visakhapatnam, early morning today. Liquid medical oxygen (LMO) has been filled in the tankers since morning," the railways said in a statement on Thursday.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted a video of the train preparing to pull out from the RINL facility.

"The first 'Oxygen Express' train loaded with liquid medical oxygen tankers has left for Maharashtra from Vizag. Railways continues to serve the nation in difficult times by transporting essential commodities and driving innovation to ensure the well-being of all citizens," Mr Goyal tweeted.

The oxygen will be transported after it is filled in seven cryogenic tankers, each with a capacity of 15-20 tonnes of liquid oxygen. The entire process, including filling the tanks, weighing them, and conducting safety checks, is expected to be completed in 22-24 hours. After that, the Oxygen Express will embark on its journey to Maharashtra.

The Air Seperation Plant at the Vizag Steel Plant, comprises five oxygen extraction units with a combined production capacity of 2,600 tonnes of oxygen, and one hundred tonnes of liquid oxygen, sources said.

Last week, Vizag Steel Plant had supplied around 400 tonnes of LMO to several places in Andhra Pradesh. The medical-grade oxygen is used for COVID patients who suffer from low oxygen levels.

The Vizag Steel Plant is currently in the news following widespread protests in Andhra Pradesh, over the Centre's privatisation plans. The Vizag Steel Plant has an annual capacity of 7.3 tonnes of steel.

(with inputs from IANS)

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