New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): Alstom, India’s biggest multinational sustainable mobility provider with a comprehensive portfolio of offerings, has successfully manufactured and delivered the 100th electric locomotive to Indian Railways. As part of the contract worth €3.5 billion won in 2015, the company will be supplying 800 fully electric high-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 HP (9 MW) for freight service, capable of hauling ~6,000 tonnes at a top speed of 120 km/hr. This is the largest Foreign Direct Investment project in the Indian Railway sector.
In the financial year 2020-2021, Indian Railways recorded a freight loading of 1,232 million tonnes, which was 2% higher than the previous fiscal. Introduction of faster trains has helped increase the average speed of transportation by 83% leading to a shorter turnaround time and has supported the movement of essential goods during COVID-19 times.
With the first Prima T8TM WAG-12Binducted for commercial service in May 2020, these locomotives are transforming the heavy freight transportation landscape of India. Deployed for operations on major freight routes, including Dedicated Freight Corridors, the Prima T8TM WAG-12Be-Locos have already clocked over close to 5 million kilometres hauling a wide range of commodities. These locomotives also made the inaugural run on the first fully operational sections of the Dedicated Freight Corridors, in December 2020. Some of the key commodities moved by these e-Locos include - coal, cement, food grains, fertilisers, petrochemical products, minerals, and posts/ parcels, across 17 States & 2 Union Territories.
Speaking on this milestone, Alain Spohr, Managing Director - Alstom India said:
I’m pleased to mention that despite challenges posed by COVID-19, we have been able to successfully manufacture and deliver 100 e-Locos to the Indian Railways in less than a year. Due to the intricacy of the project, it is really an honour to work on a first-of-its-kind ‘Make in India’ project that resulted in a technology breakthrough for the nation. Our successful collaboration with Indian Railways is paving the way for bringing advanced innovation and technology to the Country. Alstom is committed to delivering safe, reliable, and efficient solutions for IR’s evolutionary journey towards becoming the world's first 100% green railways.
The Prima T8TM WAG-12Be-Locos are built at one of India’s largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities at Madhepura (Bihar). Spread across 250 acres, this industrial site is built to international standards of safety and quality. The site has installed production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum and Alstom has progressively achieved over 85% indigenization. With these powerful e-Locos being manufactured within the country, India has become the 6th in the world to join the club of countries producing high horsepower locomotives indigenously.
The project also includes the setting up of two ultramodern maintenance depots in Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Nagpur (Maharashtra). These depots are equipped with the latest technologies and features to anticipate breakdowns thereby enabling proactive maintenance of India’s most advanced freight locomotives at significantly lower costs. The depot in Saharanpur is currently operational and houses a ‘Training Centre’ equipped with a loco simulator and smart classrooms for skill development of railway employees and loco pilots. To date, more than 500 loco pilots from Indian Railways have been trained and going forward, an additional 500 will be trained annually. The Nagpur depot will be functional next year.