Indian Railways has got its first 12,000 HP electric locomotive from Alstom as part of a 3.5 billion euros ‘Make in India’ deal! This new electric locomotive has been manufactured and assembled at Alstom’s factory in Bihar’s Madhepura. The electric locomotive marks a significant milestone in Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways bid to go green and reduce its carbon footprint. The WAG12-class ‘Make in India’ locomotives will be used to power trains on the Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) of Indian Railways. The project is a joint venture between Alstom and Indian Railways and involves not only manufacturing 800 fully electric “super-powered” double-section locomotives, but also maintaining them over a period of 11 years.
The new 12,000 HP electric locomotive is currently being tested by the Eastern division of Indian Railways. The electric locomotive can achieve a maximum speed of 120 kmph and has hauling power of up to 6,000 tonnes. According to Alstom, the electric locomotive makes use of low voltage cables and has LED lamps – making it a “green loco”. The electric locomotive has been made keeping in mind India’s extreme heat and humidity as well. The electric locomotive is equipped with IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors)-based propulsion technology, which Alstom claims will lead to savings in energy consumption due to use of regenerative braking.
Talking about the multi-billion locomotive project, Alain Spohr, Managing Director, Alstom India & South Asia told FE Online, “Our localised footprint will continue to be the driving force behind our operations in India. Our emphasis towards skill development and community action in Madhepura will be ongoing.” Spohr hopes that eventually Alstom will be able to export electric locomotives out of India!
The Madhepura plant of Alstom and Indian Railways is spread over 250 acres and has a testing track for the locomotives as well. It has a production capacity of 120 locomotives per year. The project which was awarded in 2015 by the Ministry of Railways is a significant investment in Indian Railways under the ‘Make In India’ scheme and will provide direct and indirect employment to around 10,000 people.
Watch now! Indian Railways tests 12,000 HP ‘Make in India’ electric locomotive
Incidentally, Indian Railways recently created history by converting a diesel loco into an electric locomotive for the first time in the world. The project involved converting a 2,600 HP diesel loco into a 5,000 HP locomotive and was carried out at DLW in Varanasi. This 5,000 HP unit will form one half of a 10,000 HP locomotive. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has said that Indian Railways hopes to phase out diesel engines in the next five years.