These e-locos are planned to be deployed for operations on Indian Railways' major freight routes, including the upcoming Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).
Biggest FDI in Indian Railways! Five years have completed since Alstom won the contract worth €3.5 billion from the national transporter to supply as many as 800 fully electric super-powered double-section 12,000 HP locomotives that are capable of hauling ~6000 tonnes at a speed of 120 km per hour. These e-locos are planned to be deployed for operations on Indian Railways’ major freight routes, including the upcoming Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs). According to Alstom, major progress has been made over these five years, on the largest Foreign Direct Investment project in the railway sector of India.
The first WAG 12B e-Loco, certified by the Railway Ministry and Commissioner of Railway Safety / RDSO earlier this year, was inducted for commercial services in May 2020. The company successfully produced and delivered 50 such e-Locos to the national transporter, so far. These e-locomotives have covered a distance close to 2 million kilometres on the Indian Railways network till date.
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On the contract’s basis, a joint venture was formed between Indian Railways (26 per cent equity) and Alstom (74 per cent equity) to set up one of the country’s largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities at Madhepura, in the state of Bihar. The contract includes associated maintenance of the e-locomotives for 13 years. The Madhepura facility is spread across 250 acres and has a production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum. In the financial year 2020-21, Alstom will deliver 75 units and 100 units annually starting next fiscal.
While flagging off the first electric loco from the Madhepura facility on April 10, 2018, PM Modi had said that these engines will upscale the freight transport speed to two times faster. According to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the Modi government has approved a program for 100 per cent electrification of the national transporter. Indian Railways will be the largest railways in the world to be fully electrified with 120,000 track kilometres across the country. By the year 2030, Indian Railways expects to be the first 100 per cent green railway in the world with net-zero emission. With these powerful electric locomotives being developed within the country, India has become the sixth country in the world to produce high horsepower locos indigenously.
According to Alstom, the project also includes the establishment of two ultra modern maintenance depots/facilities in Saharanpur and Nagpur. These ultra modern maintenance depots are equipped with the latest technologies as well as features to anticipate breakdowns and take proactive steps, thereby playing a key role in maintaining the country’s most advanced freight locos at significantly lower costs. Meanwhile, the company’s joint venture with the national transporter has also created more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in various states.