Alstom has successfully manufactured and delivered the 100th Prima T8 electric locomotive to Indian Railways.
The Made-in-India electric locomotives are capable of hauling 6,000 tonnes at a top speed of 120 km/h.
With the first Prima T8 WAG-12Binducted for commercial service in May 2020, these locomotives are transforming the heavy freight transport landscape of India.
Deployed for operations on major freight routes, including Dedicated Freight Corridors, the Prima T8 WAG-12Be-locomotive have already clocked over close to 5 million kilometres hauling a wide range of commodities. These locomotives also made the inaugural run on the first fully operational sections of the Dedicated Freight Corridors, in December 2020. Some of the key commodities moved by these e-Locos include – coal, cement, food grains, fertilisers, petrochemical products, minerals, and posts/ parcels, across 17 States & 2 Union Territories.
The vehicle is part of a EUR 3.5 billion contract for the supply of 800 fully electric high-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 HP (9 MW) for freight service. The project also includes setting up of two ultramodern maintenance depots in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Nagpur in Maharashtra. These depots are equipped with the latest technologies and features to anticipate breakdowns thereby enabling proactive maintenance of India’s most advanced freight locomotives at significantly lower costs. The depot in Saharanpur is currently operational and houses a ‘Training Centre’ equipped with a loco simulator and smart classrooms for skill development of railway employees and loco pilots. Till date, more than 500 loco pilots from Indian Railways have been trained and going forward, an additional 500 will be trained annually. The Nagpur depot will be functional next year.
In the financial year 2020-2021, Indian Railways recorded a freight loading of 1,232 million tonnes, which was 2% higher than the previous fiscal. Introduction of faster trains has helped increase the average speed of transportation by 83% leading to a shorter turnaround time and has supported the movement of essential goods during COVID-19 times.
“I’m pleased to mention that despite challenges posed by COVID-19, we have been able to successfully manufacture and deliver 100 e-Locos to the Indian Railways in less than a year”, Alain Spohr the Managing Director of Alstom India said.
Under the contract signed in 2015, the Prima T8 electric locomotive fleet is built at one of India’s largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities at Madhepura in Bihar. Spread across 250 acres, this industrial site is built to international standards of safety and quality. The site has installed production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum and Alstom has progressively achieved over 85% indigenisation. With these powerful e-Locos being manufactured within the country, India has become the 6th in the world to join the club of countries producing high horsepower locomotives indigenously.