The first Oxygen Express carrying seven tankers filled with liquid medical oxygen from Visakhapatnam returned to Maharashtra on Friday, four days after it started its journey.
The train arrived at Nagpur at 8.10 pm, bringing some relief to the state which is reeling under a surge in coronavirus cases and shortages of medical oxygen.
Three of the seven tankers were unloaded at Nagpur station and remaining will be unloaded at Nasik Road station.
"The Oxygen Express is expected to reach Nasik Road station in the morning tomorrow," said Shivaji Sutar, the chief spokesperson, Central Railway.
The train departed from Visakhapatnam on Thursday night.
The flat-wagon goods train had left for Visakhapatnam from Kalamboli near Mumbai on April 19, around 8 pm.
After more than 50 hours' journey, it reached the destination, passing through Vapi, Surat, Nandurbar, Bhusawal, Akole, Nagpur, Gondia, Raipur and Titagarh.
Last Sunday, the Railways had announced it will run "Oxygen Express" trains over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country.
Empty tankers will be loaded with medical oxygen from Visakhapatnam, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro, it had said.
Amid spiralling coronavirus cases in the country, the demand for medical oxygen has gone through the roof.
Maharashtra Transport Commissioner Avinash Dhakane said that the state government decided to terminate the train's journey at Nashik instead of Mumbai to avoid a 500-km long detour via Surat.
Three tankers were unloaded at Nagpur considering the urgent requirement of oxygen in Vidarbha region, another official said.
Remaining four tankers will be unloaded at Nashik considering the oxygen shortages in Nashik and Ahmednagar.
"Presently Mumbai has sufficient oxygen stocks and the demand is being met through supply from Gujarat and nearby areas," he said.