Oxygen Express arrives in Gurgaon from Hapa in Gujarat
NEW DELHI: For loco pilots Debjit Banik and Arun Pandey, it was 'one of a kind' experience to run Oxygen Express trains carrying cryogenic tankers loaded with liquid medical oxygen. They found all signals green up to their destination for supply of the crucial medical aid, termed as "sanjeevani", for Covid-19 patients gasping for breath.
Till Saturday evening, the Indian Railways had delivered 3,400 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in 220 tankers to various states across the country. So far, 54 Oxygen Express trains have delivered the supplies and more such trains with 26 fully loaded tankers, carrying around 470 tonnes, are on track. The Indian Railways is scheduling more such trains to meet the increasing demand of medical oxygen.
Speaking to TOI, Banik, who is deployed at Angul in Odisha, said: "I drove a train carrying oxygen tankers from Tata to Angul."
Everyone in railways understands the urgency and how it’s time to work together with full coordination. It was a proud moment for me to run the train, which was carrying oxygen that could save lives.” He said there was no halt for the train which was heading to Faridabad as all signals were found to be on “proceed” mode.
Arun Pandey, who is posted at Rajkot, said he drove an Oxygen Express loaded with tankers from Hapa. “There was not even one second delay on the route. There was unprecedented urgency and coordination at loading and unloading sites. Everyone was prompt and showed dedication. I feel proud that when the entire country is gasping for oxygen, I became a part of the effort for faster transport of medical oxygen,” he said.
Both the loco pilots said they could run the trains at maximum permitted speed simply because the signals were green all along the route during the journey. The Indian Railways has created “green corridors” in most of the cases for Oxygen Express trains so that they can reach their destination as soon as possible.