Indian Railways has entered into a Procurement cum Maintenance Agreement with Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd (MELPL), a joint venture of the Railways and Alstom. As part of the largest Foreign Direct Investment project of the Railways, the Ministry of Railways and Alstom came together in 2015 to transform the heavy freight transportation landscape of the country. A landmark agreement worth €3.5 billion was signed to manufacture 800 electric locomotives for freight service and its associated maintenance.

Alstom delivered the prototype locomotive in March 2018. Based on the test results, it has redesigned the complete locomotive, including bogies. The new design of locomotive has been inspected by RDSO at Madhepura factory and cleared for despatch from the factory. After test and trials, Alstom will accelerate the delivery schedule and supply 10 locomotives in 2019-20, 90 in 2020-21, and 100 locomotives per year beyond March 2021 as per their recovery plan. This is the first time such high horse power locomotive is being tested on broad gauge network in the world by any railways, said a release.

Benefits of the project

The Railways has decided to have 12,000 horse power twin Bo-Bo design locomotive with 22.5 t (tonnes) axle load upgradable to 25 tonnes with design speed of 120 kmph. This locomotive will be a game-changer for further movement of coal trains on the Dedicated Freight Corridor. The project will allow faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains. It will haul 6,000 t trains at maximum speed of 100 kmph. With 100 per cent electrification, the new locomotive will not only bring down operational cost for the Railways, it will also reduce rail congestion. It will be used to haul heavier trains such as those carrying coal and iron ore, the release added.

POSTED BY Exim News Service.