Alstom’s Make in India Electric Locomotives will herald a new era for Indian Railways

Indian Railways is all set to get this next-generation ‘Make in India’ electric locomotive by early 2018! Indian Railways hopes that the new electric locomotives will tranform the freight transport landscape. Alstom, a France major, has commenced production of the electric locomotives for Indian Railways at its newly constructed facility in Bihar’s Madhepura. We take a look at some key facts about the new locomotives for Indian Railways.

The first two shells of the Prima (WAG12) locomotives have arrived at the Madhepura facility and will be fitted and assembled at the plant. The first locomotive for Indian Railways will be ready for roll-out early next year.

The first 5 locomotives will be completed by 2019, says Alstom, adding that 35 locomotives will be made by 2020, 60 in 2021, and then 100 every year till the target of 800 is completed.

According to Alstom, the new electric locomotives for Indian Railways are designed to pull trains weighing of up to 6,000t at speeds of up to 120km/h. The new locomotives are also capable of operating in extreme climatic conditions, claims Alstom.

The contract for the electric locomotives was awarded by the Ministry of Railways in 2015. The project involves the manufacturing, testing and supply of 1676mm Gauge 9000kW (12,000hp) IGBT based 3 ph drive double Bo-Bo electric locomotives over a period of 11 years.

In line with the ‘Make in India’ project, the locomotives will be “completely manufactured out of India”, says Alstom. The project is a joint venture between Alstom (74%) and Indian Railways (26%).

Spread over 250 acres, the facility at present employs 70 people, with plans to ramp it up at a rate of 25% every year till it reaches full capacity.