This contract will see the firm, which is a separately managed company of Siemens, designing, manufacturing, commissioning and trialling the locomotives.
The order also covers 35 years of full-service maintenance, with deliveries expected over a period of 11 years.
Siemens Mobility CEO Michael Peter said: “These new locomotives will help increase freight transport on one of the world’s largest rail networks, as they can replace between 500,000 to 800,000 trucks over their lifecycle. This historic order cements a firm commitment from Indian Railways to achieve 100% electrification of rail traffic in India.”
With 9,000 horsepower (HP), the locomotives are claimed to be “one of the most powerful” globally.
They will run at a top speed of 120 kmph and haul loads of 4,500 tonnes.
Besides, they will incorporate advanced propulsion systems made locally in Siemens Mobility’s India factories.
The latest development comes as the Indian government looks to expand rail’s share in freight transport from the existing 27% to 40-45%.
Siemens CEO Roland Busch said that the locomotives will save over 800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifecycle, helping India realise its aim of establishing the world’s largest green rail network.
Assembly of the locomotives will be done in Indian Railways’ Dahod factory in the state of Gujarat.
Maintenance work will be carried out in the Indian Railways depots in Pune, Vishakhapatnam, Kharagpur, as well as Raipur.
Meanwhile, in other recent India developments, Siemens launched a new rail bogie production facility in the state of Maharashtra.
Earlier in 2022, the firm placed the lowest bid for electrification on Chennai Metro Rail’s (CMRL) Poonamallee and Light House section in Tamil Nadu, India.