Biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian Railways: Multinational rolling stock manufacturer Alstom won a contract worth €3.5 billion from Indian Railways in 2015, to supply 800 fully electric super-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 horsepower (HP) capable of hauling almost 6000 tonnes at a speed of 120 kmph. With this contract, India has now become the sixth country to produce indigenously developed e-locomotives. The e-locomotives are planned to be deployed for operations on important freight routes across the railway network, including the dedicated freight corridors (DFCs). In May 2020, the first WAG 12B e-loco was inducted for commercial operations. (Also Read: Biggest FDI In Indian Railways: India Becomes Sixth Country To Produce Indigenous Locos )
Alstom is also executing electrification, signalling, and telecommunications system for over 343 km along the eastern phase of the dedicated freight corridor which is a key step in transforming the freight services in the country. As part of the contract, Alstom is building the sub-stations and providing the control centre. The control center situated at Allahabad is one of the world's largest operations control centres for railways.
The dedicated freight corridor project will not just allow safer and timely movement of freight across the country but will also reduce the traffic on the corridor for passenger trains. The engines of e-locos will upscale the speed of freight transport in the country to two times faster. The WAG 12B locomotive is installed with insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) based propulsion technology and makes use of regenerative braking, which reduces energy consumption.
The electric locomotives are being built in one of India's largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities situated at Madhepura in Bihar. Spread across 250 acres, with a production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum, the industrial site is built to international standards of safety and quality.