East Central Railways has started testing the first 12,000 horse power freight locomotive at the Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. factory, a joint venture of the Indian Ministry of Railways and Alstom. The Prima T8 (WAG12) locomotive is part of Alstom’s Prima range of locomotives and has been specially adapted for the Indian network. Developed in a joint venture by Alstom and the Indian Railways, this is the first electric locomotive in India to deliver a power output above 10,000 hp.
The joint venture was started after the Indian Railways signed a record deal worth around USD 3.3 billion in November 2015 with Alstom for the production of 800 high power electric locomotives.
The new locomotive has doubled the horsepower output compared to its predecessor, the WAG-9. It will also essentially double the average speed of freight trains in the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, where the locomotive will be deployed, with average speeds expected to be between 100 km/h to 120 km/h.