As part of the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) project in the Indian Railways sector, multinational rolling stock manufacturer Alstom recently delivered the 100th electric locomotive (e-loco) of 12,000 horsepower (HP) to the railway authorities. According to a statement shared by Alstom on Friday, April 30, the company manufactured and delivered the indigenous locomotive to the national transporter, which was built in one of the country's largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities. (Also Read: Biggest FDI In Indian Railways: India Becomes Sixth Country To Produce Indigenous Locos )
The Prima WAG-12B e-locos, deployed for operations on major freight routes of Indian Railways, covered around five million kilometres so far, hauling a range of commodities including cement, coal, fertilisers, food grains, minerals, etc across 12 states and two union territories. The first WAG 12B electric locomotive was inducted for commercial services in May 2020. The locomotives also made the inaugural run on the first fully operational section - Bhaupur-Khurja, of the eastern dedicated freight corridor. (Also Read: Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor: Indigenous Locos Grace Opening Run On Bhaupur-Khurja )
As the country's biggest multinational sustainable mobility provider, Alstom's production and delivery of powerful e-locomotives resulted in India becoming the sixth country to join the league of nations that produce high horsepower locomotives indigenously. In 2015, Alstom won a contract worth 3.5 billion euros from Indian Railways to supply 800 fully electric super-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 horsepower for freight service, capable of hauling around 6000 tonnes at a speed of 120 km per hour. This became the largest foreign direct investment project for Indian Railways. (Also Read: Alstom FDI: All You Need To Know About Indian Railways Indigenous Locomotives )
In the financial year 2020-2021, Indian Railways registered a freight loading of 1,232 million tonnes, which was two per cent higher than the previous fiscal year. The introduction of faster trains on the freight network helped in increasing the average speed of transportation by 83 per cent, leading to a shorter turnaround time. This supported the seamless transportation of essential goods amid COVID-19.
The indigenous locomotives are built at one of the country's largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities situated at Madhepura in Bihar. The facility has an installed production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum. The contract won by Alstom also includes the setting up of two ultramodern maintenance depots in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and another at Nagpur, Maharashtra.
The depot in Saharanpur is currently operational and the Nagpur one will be functional next year, said Alstom. The depots are equipped with modern technology to support the maintenance of the electric locomotives, manufactured indigenously, at significantly lower costs.