Kerala

Many hurdles to ply Oxygen Express to Kerala

The rail overbridges at Shoranur, Thrissur, and Angamaly lack the mandatory clearance of 4.67 m from the rail level for the movement of wagons on which liquid medical oxygen-laden tankers are transported.  

Low clearance of rail overbridges, narrow tunnels, and speed restrictions in two stretches having tunnels are hurdles for the Railways in operating Oxygen Express trains, which deliver liquid medical oxygen, to the State.

The rail overbridges (ROB) at Shoranur, Thrissur, and Angamaly lack the mandatory clearance of 4.67 m from the rail level, which prevents the movement of wagons on which liquid medical oxygen-laden tankers are transported as in the northern States.

The ROB at Shornur has clearance of 4.58 metre. The existing narrow tunnel in Kottayam also lacks the mandatory clearance.

The second tunnel between Nemom and Neyyattinkara and restrictions in the Eraniel tunnel on the Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram Central corridor are bottlenecks for Oxygen Express to be operated via Nagercoil.

The rail network will have to be used as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has approached the Prime Minister for additional liquid medical oxygen for the State in view of the rising demand. He had also sought Oxygen Express trains to Kerala. The State has daily production of 219 tonnes of oxygen and is maintaining a buffer stock of 450 tonnes without any pressure on the national grid.

A senior railway official said no request from the State had landed in the divisional railway offices in Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram. The Railways have so far not finalised plans to operate Oxygen Express to Kerala.

“Oxygen Express can be operated to Kerala with wagons that can carry tankers that need only 3.1 m clearance in the ROBs. To bypass the Kottayam tunnel constructed on metre gauge standards, liquid medical oxygen-laden trains can move via Alappuzha. The ramp used by the military in Kochuveli can also be used,” he added.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 12:21:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/many-hurdles-to-ply-oxygen-express-to-kerala/article34542753.ece

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