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Railways inducts first two GE-made high horse power engines

24 February 2018

Indian Railways on Friday inducted the first of the fully digitally enabled high horse power locomotive with greater reliability, maintainability and availability manufactured in collaboration with General Electric (GE) under the public private partnership initiative.

The digitally-enabled locomotives based on the state-of-the-art insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology, offers the combined advantages of high efficiency and fast switching.

GE handed over the symbolic reverser keys to chairman, railway board, Ashwani Lohani, at a ceremony held at Northern Railway's Diesel Loco Shed, Alambagh, Lucknow as a gesture of inducting the two HHP locomotives into the Indian Railway system.

The two HHP prototype locomotives are wholly-designed in India under the 'Make in India' programme and manufactured under the PPP model through a memorandum of understanding with GE. The total investment amount is Rs13,000 crore and under the agreement Indian Railways has a 26-per cent stake.

The first GE manufactured diesel locomotive No 49001 for Indian Railways, shipped from the US, landed in the country on 11 October 2017 and was put to extensive trials. The GE Locomotives are equipped with four-stroke engine with 12 cylinders, 06 traction motors and AC Dual Cab locomotive.

The engines have safety features including self load, toilet facility, upgraded computer-controlled braking (CCB system), electronic fuel injection system, fuel-efficient locomotive, IGBT-based traction technology and is compliant with India's UIC emission norm. The locomotive is also the first fully digitally-enabled locomotive with greater reliability and availability and is also provided with a device to manage disasters.

The Railways has set up state-of-the-art maintenance sheds at Roza, UP and Gandhidham, Gujarat for better maintenance of its assets for better reliability and safety.

Under the MoU, GE will manufacture 1,000 fuel-efficient locomotives (100 per year) that will be used for freight traffic hauling. Amongst these 700 locomotives will be 4,500HP WDG4G and rest 300 locomotives will be of 6,000HP. Initially 40 fuel efficient diesel locomotives will be manufactured in the GE facility at Erie, Pennsylvania, in the US and the remaining 960 diesel locomotives will be manufactured in Marhoura, Saran district, Bihar.

This production unit is spread over 9.15 hectares, with township facility with a total area of 200 acres. This factory will start loco manufacturing from October 2018. Locos will be maintained in Roza, UP and Gandhidham, Gujarat.

IGBT technology has a three-terminal power semiconductor device primarily used as an electronic switch, which was developed to give the combined advantages of high efficiency and fast switching.

It offers greater power gain than the standard bipolar type transistor combined with the higher voltage operation and lower input losses.

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