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  1. Indian Railways set for big transformation with modern ‘world-class’ Make in India locomotives

Indian Railways set for big transformation with modern ‘world-class’ Make in India locomotives

Locomotives form an important part of the way the Indian Railways network functions. Energy efficient locomotives that can achieve relatively higher speeds and throughput are crucial to India that is growing fast and hopes to retain the tag of world's fastest growing major economy.

By: | Updated: March 17, 2018 1:13 PM
Indian Railways is getting new modern locomotives What’s best about these locomotives is that they are all ‘Make in India’ projects.

Indian Railways, said to the country’s lifeline, is at a crucial juncture and in the coming years is set to witness large scale transformation – be it new modern locomotives and upcoming dedicated freight corridors or the massive stations redevelopment programme and world-class train sets for passenger safety and comfort. From safety and punctuality to speed and competitive efficiency, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is working on multiple projects that are expected to start showing results in the next few years. Locomotives form an important part of the way the Indian Railways network functions. Energy efficient locomotives that can achieve relatively higher speeds and throughput are crucial to India that is growing fast and hopes to retain the tag of world’s fastest growing major economy. “Locomotives are an important peg in the overall growth story of Indian Railways,” says Abhaya Agarwal, Partner Infrastructure & PPP Leader at EY India. “These world-class locomotives that Indian Railways is looking to induct will be able to haul greater tonnes of freight and will also allow for greater acceleration and deceleration at shorter distances. This will be a game-changer move for the sector as a whole,” Agarwal tells FE Online. What’s best about these locomotives is that they are all ‘Make in India’ projects.

Indian Railways creates history by converting diesel loco to electric locomotive

In Varanasi, which is PM Narendra Modi’s constituency, Indian Railways created a world record by converting a diesel loco into electric traction. Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) converted one unit of a WAGC3-class diesel locomotive in a record time of 69 days. Rashmi Goyel, the first woman GM DLW tells FE Online that the project was completed by working day and night, burning the midnight oil.

Watch video: Indian Railways converts diesel engine to electric loco

The ‘Make in India’ electric locomotive is of 5,000 HP as compared to 2,600 HP of the original diesel locomotive. Another unit is being converted to eventually make a coupled locomotive that will yield 10,000 HP, Goyel tells FE Online.

Alstom’s 12,000 HP electric locomotives for freight movement

Alstom, which is manufacturing 12,000 HP locomotives at its new factory in Bihar’s Madhepura, recently handed over the new locomotive to Indian Railways. The WAG12-class ‘Make in India’ locomotive is part of an order for 800 fully electric locomotives that will eventually be used on the Dedicated Freight Corridors. The green environment-friendly locomotives can haul up to 6,000 tonnes freight and have IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors)-based propulsion technology.

Watch video: Indian Railways tests new 12,000 HP electric locomotive

The new high-powered locomotives that can attain speeds of up to 120 kmph will not only help Indian Railways transport goods at higher speeds but will also aim at reducing the carbon footprint. Alain Spohr, Managing Director, Alstom India & South Asia tells FE Online that the France major is hopeful of eventually exporting railway locomotives out of India.

GE’s diesel electric locomotives

As part of a $2.5 billion project, GE Transportation will supply 1,000 diesel electric locomotives to Indian Railways. While the initial batch of locomotives will be shipped from US, eventually all others will be made in India at the company’s plant in Bihar’s Marhowra. GE has already delivered two diesel electric locomotives of 4,500 HP to Indian Railways. Out of 1,000 locos, 700 would be of the 4,500 HP variety and the remaining 300 will be of 6,000 HP. The locomotives can attain speeds of up to 100 kmph and will be maintained at Gujarat’s Gandhidham and Uttar Pradesh’s Roza sheds. Nalin Jain, President – International business, GE Transportation tells FE Online that the “new locomotives have proven technology and will therefore provide a strong workhorse to Indian Railways for long haul freight operations and help with better revenue realization through increased availability and reliability.”

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  1. Debasish Chakrabarty
    Mar 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    Pls, ensure the presence of smoke detectors in every compartments of both express local trains, during modernization. Passive smoking is the most unpleasant experience in local train compartments.
    Reply
    1. Your Landlord
      Mar 17, 2018 at 9:45 pm
      It is sad that india is looking to be a world leader and boasts of producing big brains but doesnt even seem to have the intelligence and organisation required to invent it's own train engines to manufacture it...that too has to be imported. Meanwhile other world leading countries are already indulged in making(their own machines and technologies) which they use to compete amongst themselves for improvising technologies and learning on the way. Without indigenous inventions and it's use.. dia can't prosper economically...good example could be ISRO whose indigenous marvellous rockets have fetched so many contracts and earned them good... We need ingenious production of indian invented goods more than ever.
      Reply
      1. Akhand Bharat
        Apr 18, 2018 at 11:07 am
        It will take time for India to come with its own diesel and electric locomotives and we need locos ASAP to improve our infrastructure and boost growth. Our objective now is not to innovate but to employ millions of Indians. The GE and alstom factories can later be used to export locomotives to other GE projects around the world. Pakistan and Ukraine recently purchased GE locomotives so they can be a future client of the GE factory in Bihar. So all is good as India can replace China has the world's next factory.
        Reply
      2. Aroon Ace
        Mar 17, 2018 at 5:55 pm
        Misleading information on modernization of INDIAN RAILWAY, no modernisation had taken place except increase in Ticket fare. Live example was my father travelling on 14-03-2018 PNR:4862244960 TRAVELLER NAME Kutty Sankaran in B2 37, in Karaikal express from Karaikal to Chennai Egmore. The train doesnt even have the basic first aid facility. AC compartment is provided with unclean bedsheet and the AC was not dust free. This induced wheezing and suffocation leading to death. Hoping we could get facility and support from railway station we got down from train but in vain. Atleast if not in train, every station is to be provided with oxygen cylinder and mask. Timely medication could have saved my father's precious life. Although we had a doctor as a co-passenger, she was helpless to treat due to lack of any basic life saving medicine or facility for treatment either in train or railway station Modernization should first ensure safety and basic life saving facility in all trains.
        Reply
        1. amrit tripathi
          Mar 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm
          Indian railways should go for clear segmentation with DMIC in operation catering to all freight services. while upgraded civil transport at rapid speeds with new European standard aluminium coaches running at 160 kmph having ac 3 and ac 2 rates. this will help the pipeline for Indian railways by increasing average speed from 50 kmph to 70 kmph range where the train services overall will be comparable and compe ive to road transport sector. this is sure to herald a new era for Indian railways
          Reply

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