French train manufacturer Alstom has announced that the first of the Prima T8 electric locomotives ordered by Indian Railways has started service in India.
The 12,000HP electric locomotives were built by Alstom and the Ministry of Railways and Commissioner of Railway Safety/RDSO certified them.
They are given the designation WAG-12 and said to be one of the most powerful locomotives to operate in India.
In 2015, Indian Railways signed a $3bn contract with Alstom for 800 electric locomotives to be delivered in the next 11 years and the set-up of an electric locomotive factory (ELF) in Madhepura.
Alstom stated that these locomotives will ‘revolutionise’ the freight logistics in India and will offer faster and safer movement.
The trains are capable of transporting 6,000t of goods at speeds of 120km/h.
Indian Railways plans to deploy the trains on the Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs), which will increase the average speed by 25km/h for the freight trains in the country.
The trains will also help in energy savings as they feature Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) propulsion technology.
Alstom Asia-Pacific senior VP Ling Fang said: “Alstom is very pleased to be delivering these electric locomotives to Indian Railways. The introduction of the Prima locomotives into the IR fleet demonstrates our commitment to the country.
“This revolutionary product which will be faster, safer and more environmentally friendly, and it will help write a new chapter for India’s sustainable mobility journey. We are immensely proud to be a partner in this.”
All the trains are built in India under the Make-in-India mandate.
The Engineering Centre in Bengaluru is responsible for the design while the trains are built at the facility in Madhepura, Bihar.
It is one of the biggest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities in India and is spread across 250-acres and can annually produce 120 locomotives.
The maintenance depots for the locomotives are located at Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and Nagpur, Maharashtra.