Alstom delivers first Locomotive bodyshell to India

India gets first high-power electric locomotive for freight trains from France. The Indian Railways inked a contract with the French company to manufacture 800 such train engines over the next 11 years.
Arrival of the shell of 12000 HP loco from Alstom France and its unloading at Haldia.

KOLKATA: The first bodyshell of 12000 HP loco for the fleet of 800 WAG12 twin-section electric locomotives which Alstom is to supply to Indian Railways was unloaded at Haldia in the Port of Kolkata on September 20, ready for delivery to the factory at Madhepura where the fleet will be assembled.

This first-of-its-kind high-power electric locomotive will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed by next year.

In November 2015 the Ministry of Railways selected Alstom for a contract to supply the electric locomotives from a factory to be built by a joint venture of the manufacturer and Indian Railways (26%). Deliveries are scheduled for 2018-28.

This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector.

The contract allows for the first five locomotives to be imported, but the remaining 795 are to be manufactured locally in support of the government’s Make in India campaign.

The first such locomotive, estimated to cost about Rs 30 crore, will be assembled with components brought in from Alstom’s factories in France and will have its trial run by February next year.

The 9 MW locomotives with a maximum speed of 120 km/h will be a development of Alstom’s Prima family that includes locomotives supplied to Kazakhstan, with modifications to suit Indian requirements. They will be equipped with ABB transformers and Knorr-Bremse braking systems.

Indian Railways intends to use the locomotives to haul 6 000 tonne trains at 100 km/h on the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, and on other routes to raise the average speed of heavy freight trains from between 25 and 30 km/h to between 50 and 60 km/h.

The contract allows for the first five locomotives to be imported, but the remaining 795 are to be manufactured locally in support of the government’s Make in India campaign.

The total contract is worth above three billion euro. This project includes the set-up of a plant at Madhepura (Bihar state) and two maintenance depots at Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh state)and Nagpur (Maharashtra state). The delivery of the locomotives will spread between 2018 and 2028.

The locomotive will run at a speed up to 120 km/h.

The Railways is currently using 6,000HP locomotives for freight services. The increase in speed would also result in improving line capacity in the rail network, a railway official said.

As per schedule, 35 locomotives would be rolled out from the factory by 2020, 60 in 2021, followed by 100 every year till the target of 800 is completed.

Separately, GE Transportation has a similar deal to supply diesel locomotives for Indian Railways.

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