Alstom has announced the commissioning of the initial seven electric freight locomotives to Azerbaijan Railways (ADY).

The Prima T8 AZ8A locomotives will operate on the main freight transit track, which has been renewed from 3kV DC to 25kV AC recently.

The Prima T8 AZ8A locomotives will initially run on Azerbaijan’s Silk Road East-West corridor, connecting the Caspian Sea main ports to the Georgian border. They will then start operating across the country.

With the capacity to tow up to 9,000t, Alstom’s Prima T8 is a 25t per axle two-section freight locomotive.

It is equipped with a continuous power of 8.8MW and can travel at a speed of 120km/h.

Due to its modular design, the locomotive needs minimum maintenance and offers reliability and low lifecycle expenses.

This freight locomotive can operate in temperatures ranging from -25°C to 50°C.

Alstom Western and Central Asia managing director Guillaume Tritter said: “With its strategic location, at the crossroad of the Silk Roads, this project aims at developing the railway infrastructure of the whole region.

“Our locomotives play a key role in boosting the freight transportation capacity within Azerbaijan, furthermore they also contribute to the ambitious goals of the country to interconnect the neighbouring countries.”

Last August, Alstom commenced the validation test campaign for the Prima T8 AZ8A freight locomotives on the main freight transit line in Azerbaijan.

In 2014, ADY selected Alstom JV EKZ to deliver 50 electric locomotives in a $342.71m (€288) deal.

The order included 40 Prima T8 AZ8A heavy freight locomotives and ten Prima M4 AZ4A passenger locomotives.

Alstom claims that it has sold over 3,200 Prima locomotives globally in the past 20 years.