Alstom India has successfully delivered the 300th electric locomotive to the Indian Railways. This marks a significant milestone in increasing the Indian Railways’ capabilities to haul heavy freight trains at high speed, to meet its ambitious freight targets.
As part of its contract worth euro 3.5 billion, Alstom is supplying 800 high-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 HP (9 MW) for freight service. Designated by Indian Railways as WAG-12B, these locos are capable of hauling 6,000-tonne rakes at a top speed of 120 km/hr.
Marking the milestone delivery, the 300th e-loco was flagged off from Alstom’s state-of-the-art locomotive maintenance depot in Nagpur, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December of last year.
On this occasion, the General Manager of Central Railway, Naresh Lalwani, said, “Indian Railways is undergoing a massive transformation in its freight operations and Alstom’s contribution in powering this revolution is commendable. The Joint Venture formed between Indian Railways and Alstom, to build India’s most powerful electric locomotives for freight service is a stellar example of a successful Public Private Partnership model, it will play a key role in accelerating the growth of the freight sector.”
He further said, “The world-class facility built here, and the quality of products and services delivered by Alstom, are well aligned with the Government’s ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, and green mobility initiatives. This combined with the workplace culture nurtured by Alstom will definitely set new benchmarks for our industry.”
Commenting on the milestone, Managing Director of Alstom India Olivier Loison, said, “The Government of India is prioritizing reducing logistics costs in its efforts to boost the economy towards the USD 5 trillion economy target. Indian Railways will play an important role in achieving this goal, and for that it needs to strengthen its haulage capacity.”
“The Alstom WAG12B electric locomotive has proven to be a capability multiplier, with its ability to haul greater loads at faster speeds. The 300th loco delivery is a proud milestone for us, and as we continue to deliver more locomotives, this partnership will continue to boost the nation’s logistic capabilities,” he added.
It is pertinent to note that as part of the contract, Alstom’s Nagpur Depot will be maintaining 250 WAG12B e-loco starting from series 60251.
This depot is 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 has 12 tracks for maintenance with hi-tech equipment. The depot is equipped with Centred Fleet monitoring (CFM) system to remotely monitor the fleet via the Health hub and Train Tracer system.
The Prompt Response Team (PRT) is deployed for 24 x 7 loco attention. Green features like rainwater harvesting, zero discharge using effluent treatment plant and sewerage treatment plant, 100 per cent LED lights, daylight panels, occupancy sensors, greenery and provisioned for 1 MW rooftop solar plant.
This is the second such facility set up by Alstom, after the depot at Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, which houses the first 250 locomotives delivered to Indian Railways.
It is also notable that Nagpur Depot completes 7 months+ of operations and records 1.6+ Million service defect-free kilometres for the Nagpur Fleet.
The site is a success story for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, where supervisors are from Alstom and technicians from Indian Railways.
The WAG-12B locos are being built at one of India’s largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities at Madhepura (Bihar), under a Joint Venture between Alstom and Indian Railways.
This is the largest Foreign Direct Investment project in the Indian Railway sector. The facility has an installed production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum and Alstom has progressively achieved nearly 90 per cent indigenization.
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.
The WAG-12B locomotives made its inaugural run on the first fully operational sections of the Dedicated Freight Corridors two years ago.
Equipped with Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) based propulsion technology, these e-Locos will have considerable savings in energy consumption with the use of regenerative braking.
The technology is also helpful towards making the acceleration process more efficient by reducing heat generation and traction noise.
Additionally, it will not only bring down operational costs, but also reduce the congestion faced by Indian Railways.