French transportation giant Alstom has delivered the redesigned locomotive complete with bogies and the new design of locomotive has been inspected and approved by Railway Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) at the Madhepura factory.
The redesigned locomotives have been cleared for dispatch from the factory. After test and trials Alstom will accelerate the delivery schedule and supply 10 locomotives in FY 2019-20 and 90 locomotives in FY 2020-21 and 100 locomotives per year beyond March 2021 as per their recovery plan.
According to the Railways, this is the first time such high horse power locomotive is being tested on broad gauge network anywhere in the world.
In what could be one of Indian Railways’ largest foreign direct investment (FDI) project, the ministry of railways and Alstom teamed up in 2015 to transform the heavy freight transportation landscape of the country. A landmark agreement worth 3.5 billion Euro was signed to manufacture 800 electric locomotives for freight service and its associated maintenance.
As part of the project, factory along with township has been set up in Madhepura, Bihar with capacity to manufacture 120 locomotives per year. The project was estimated to create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country.
Alstom claims to have invested more than Rs2,000 crore in the project. One maintenance depot has also been established in Saharanpur. Work starting on the second depot at Nagpur. More than 300 engineers from India and France are working in Bangalore, Madhepura and France on the project.
With plans to manufacture, more than 90 per cent parts locally on two years’ time and the first loco already assembled at the Madhepura factory, this will be a truly `Make in India’ project , according to the Railways.
The project will also drive socio-economic development in Madhepura. As part of CSR initiative skill centres are being set up in Madhepura to impart training to local people. More than 50 per cent local people have been hired in the factory. A fully functional mobile health clinic is also being operated in the villages around Madhepura.
Indian Railways has taken decision to have 12,000 horse power twin Bo-Bo design locomotives with 22.5 T (tonnes) axle load upgradable to 25 tonnes with design speed of 120 kmph. This locomotive will be game changer for further movement of coal trains for Dedicated Freight Corridor. The success of this project it will boost `Make in India’ programme of the Government of India. This will further develop ancillary units for locomotive components.
The project will allow faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains. It will haul 6000 tonnes trains at maximum speed of 100 kmph. With 100 per cent electrification, the new locomotive will not only bring down operational cost for Railways, it will also reduce the congestion faced by Indian Railways. This will be used to haul heavier trains such as coal and iron ore.