Railways to start operating first 12,000 HP electric loco from Madhepura
07 April 2018
Indian Railways will start operating its first 12,000 horsepower (HP) electric locomotive on Tuesday, joining an elite list of countries, which now includes Russia, China, Germany and Sewden.
French engineering giant Alstom had last month delivered its first all-electric locomotive from the state-of-the-art locomotive facility at Madhepura in Bihar, on schedule.
Till now, the most powerful electric engine with the Indian Railways was of 6,000 HP.
These new locomotives will not only bring down operating costs for the Railways but will significantly cut down greenhouse gas emissions as well, Alsom said, adding that the government’s and the Railways have targeted 100 per cent electrification for sustainable mobility.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the country's first 12,000 HP electric locomotive from the Madhepura loco factory in Bihar on 10 April.
The heavy-haulage locos, with a maximum speed of 110 km per hour, will help decongest saturated routes by improving the speed and carrying capacity of freight trains.
Railway ministry officials said these heavy-haulage locos would be used to transport coal and iron ore.
Equipped with insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT)-based propulsion technology, the 12,000 HP locomotives will give a big boost to freight transportation by the Railways.
Modi will also dedicate the Madhepura factory — a high-value FDI joint venture with French rolling stock giant Alstom — to the nation.
The Rs20,000 crore project is expected to roll out a total of 800 high horsepower locos over a period of 11 years.
The total project cost includes Rs1,300 crore for setting up the factory at Madhepura and two loco maintenance depots at Saharanpur (UTtar Pradesh) and Nagpur (Maharashtra), beside building 800 locos. The average cost of each locomotive is estimated to be Rs25 crore.
According to the contract agreement, the first five locomotives will be imported while the remaining 795 will be manufactured in the country under the Make in India programme.
GE is expected to deliver four more high horsepower locos after the rolling out of the first locomotive on 10 April.
About 35 locos will be manufactured at the Madhepura facility in the next fiscal (2019-20) and 60 in 2020-21.
After that, the factory will produce 800 locomotives over 11 years.
This first locomotive is part of a €3.5-billion order comprising 800 electric double-section locomotives signed in 2015 which is perhaps the largest foreign direct investment in the railways sector to date. The contract is also one of the biggest contracts in the history of Alstom.