Railways to step up Electric Loco production at Varanasi

SAIL’s Universal Rail Mill/Bhilai told to raise output of Electric Loco Wheels

VARANASI: In a move to reduce its fuel costs, the Railways has started increasing the share of electric engines in its overall locomotive production. It has also set higher targets for such locomotives at its Varanasi-based Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW).

It is looking to “curtail production” of diesel locomotives.

The Railways has already taken steps towards this end – with SAIL being advised to gear up production of electric locomotive wheels.

There is a proposal to shut down wheel shop of Rail Wheel Factory (RWF), which was discussed recently.

As per the revised estimates, set in early 2017, the electric locomotive production programme for the fiscal 2017-18 is at 350 of which DLW will have to produce 25 locomotives, up from at least two electric locomotives produced in fiscal 2016-17. There is also a target to manufacture 425 electric locomotives of which 75 will be made in DLW.

The Railways is increasing the pace of electrification of its network as it looks to reduce the fuel cost as well as improve emission norms. Incidentally, a recent release stated that the joint venture of GE and Railways imported the first of 40 diesel electric locomotives to India. The remaining 960 will be built at the factory, which is being constructed at Marhowra and will open in 2018.

This is a part of the $2.5-billion agreement for 1,000 diesel-electric locomotives, signed in 2015 as part of government’s public private partnership program (PPP) to modernise the country’s rail infrastructure, GE had said.

GE in its statement had added that it was creating a supply chain eco-system in India, and will localise more than 70 per cent of all content.

“We’re proud of the more than 6,000 jobs that have been created by GE in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and remain committed to our work in the country,” it said.