Big fillip! Indian Railways to get its first ‘Make in India’ 12,000 HP electric locomotive by end-2018

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Updated: June 26, 2018 4:00:53 PM

Indian Railways will get its first 12,000 HP electric locomotive by the end of this year, learns Financial Express Online. The 'Make in India' electric locomotive has been manufactured by France major Alstom at its factory in Bihar's Madhepura.

Indian Railways first 12,000 HP electric locomotive undergoing trialsRecently, the first 12,000 HP electric locomotive had its maiden trip from Madhepura to Saharanpur for further testing.

Indian Railways will get its first 12,000 HP electric locomotive by the end of this year, learns Financial Express Online. The ‘Make in India’ electric locomotive has been manufactured by France major Alstom at its factory in Bihar’s Madhepura. The facility which has been set up to manufacture WAG12-class electric locomotives under the biggest FDI project deal worth 3.5 billion euros for Indian Railways. The engine was first showcased by Indian Railways in April when PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Madhepura factory in Bihar. Recently, the first 12,000 HP electric locomotive had its maiden trip from Madhepura to Saharanpur for further testing. The Saharanpur depot will not just serve as a locomotive maintenance depot, but will be the training and skilling centre for loco pilots. The maintenance depot is part of the contract given to Madhepura Electric Locomotive Private Limited (MELPL) – a joint venture identity between Indian Railways and Alstom.

According to Alstom officials that Financial Express Online spoke to, the electric locomotive travelled 1,200 kilometres to reach the Saharanpur depot. The movement of the locomotive was tracked through a remote monitoring system known as Traintracer – a technology, which has the capability to pre-empt glitches and run remote diagnostics. The locomotive will now undergo several extensive trials and tests before being finally introduced to the Indian Railways main freight fleet. Alstom is hopeful of handing over the locomotive to Indian Railways by the end of this year. Simultaneously, Indian Railways loco pilots will be trained at the Saharanpur depot on the finer aspects of the locomotive, Alstom executives said.

The ‘Make in India’ electric locomotives project of Indian Railways involves manufacturing of 800 fully electric “super-powered” double-section locomotives. These locomotives will also be maintained by Alstom for a period of 11 years. The WAG12-class electric locomotives are capable of achieving maximum speeds of 120 kmph and will mainly ply on the upcoming dedicated freight corridors. The electric locomotives can haul as much as 6,000 tonnes. The “green” locomotives make use of low voltage cables and are equipped with LED lights. The electric locomotives have Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors-based (IGBT) propulsion technology. This helps save energy due to the use of regenerative braking.

Both the dedicated freight corridors and the use of high-powered electric locomotives on them will be game-changers for Indian Railways. Faster movement of freight in an environment-friendly way with the use of electric locomotives is a definite step forward for the national transporter.

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