Alstom’s 12000 hp Electric Prima Locomotive put on test at Madhepura

East Central Railway has started testing the first 12000 horse power freight locomotive at the Ministry of Railway-Alstom joint venture factory ‘Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd.’ in Madhepura, Bihar.

MADHEPURA: The first of 800 WAG12 twin-section electric locomotives which Alstom is supplying to Indian Railways is now on test at a purpose-built factory in Madhepura.

The factory has been developed on a 100 ha greenfield site by a joint venture of Alstom (74%) and Indian Railways (26%) under a contract awarded by the Ministry of Railways in November 2015. The contract allows the first five locomotives to be imported, and the first pair of bodyshells were delivered to Madhepura for fitting out in September 2017. The remaining 795 locomotives must be manufactured domestically in support of the government’s Make in India campaign.

The 9 MW Prima T8 locomotives will have a maximum speed of 120 km/h. They are a development of Alstom’s Prima family that includes locomotives supplied to Kazakhstan, with modifications to suit Indian requirements including 1 676 mm gauge. ABB is supplying transformers and Knorr-Bremse braking systems for the new fleet.

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.

East Central Railways has started testing the first 12000 horse power freight locomotive at the Ministry of Railway-Alstom joint venture factory ‘Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd.’ in Madhepura, Bihar.

Having a 12000 horsepower output, the new locomotive has effectively doubled that parameter from its predecessor, the WAG-9. It will also essentially double the average speed of freight trains in the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, where the locomotive will be deployed, with average speed expected to be between 100 kmph to 120 kmph.

Developed in a joint venture by Indian Railways and Alstom, it is the first electric locomotive in India to deliver a power output above 10,000 hp. The joint venture was started after Indian Railways signed a record deal worth around 3.3 billion USD in November 2015 with Alstom for the production of 800 high power electric locomotives.

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