Indian Railways just received their 100th electric locomotive, courtesy of Alstom.
Galloping in at a whopping 12,000 horsepower (we’re gonna need a bigger field), these locomotives are the country’s most powerful “Made-In-India” electric locomotives.
They’re not just stopping there though.
The contract between Alstom and Indian Railways is worth €3.5 billion for a total 800 fully electric locomotives, which will be used to transport freight and goods, such as coal, cement, food grains, fertilisers, petrochemical products, minerals, and post/parcels, across 17 federal states and 2 union territories in just a fraction of the standard time!
“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,” said Ling Fang, Senior Vice President of Alstom Asia-Pacific.
The first of the locomotives under the contract is the stunning Prima T8TM WAG-12B which entered commercial service in May 2020. It’s one of the most powerful freight engines in the world aided in part by its eight-axle design which serves to heavily improve performance, drive efficiency by minimising energy consumption as well as lowering maintenance costs.
Which will all certainly be handy for transporting the potential 1,256 million tons plus of freight that will need to be moved by rail. I
In the 2020/21 financial year, Indian Railways recorded 1,232 million tons of freight being moved by rail, a 2 percent increase to the previous financial year, so if we follow current trends, that will only continue to rise.
But the locomotive itself isn’t just efficient, but smartly designed, as well as comfortable for drivers. It incorporates special features which makes it perfectly suited to humid or dusty environments and extreme cold (-50 Celsius) and hot temperatures (50 Celsius).
The driver’s cabin of the locomotive is larger than standard cabins and offers superior comfort for drivers, who are often in for the long haul! There are even areas to prepare food, aircon, storage and toilets which became mandatory on Indian Railways in 2016.
So, these locomotives can certainly haul a lot, they clearly help make drivers more comfortable and they’re massively better for the environment. But these locomotives don’t stop there.
Quite the opposite.
They’ve also increased the average speed of freight transportations by a staggering 83%, which has been quite literally lifesaving when it comes to the delivery of essential goods during COVID-19, along with the tragic rise in cases in India in recent weeks.
All in all, this is a fantastic milestone for Indian Railways and Alstom.
With these locomotives operating on the Dedicated Freight Corridors in the country, they’ve already clocked up a phenomenal 5 million kilometres in their transportation of goods.
And that’s a considerable win for the environment too.
Our rail construction app, Sitediary, is not perhaps as game changing as these electric trains but we do have several things in common - an emphasis on improving efficiency in the rail industry and exploring new green ways of working.
Overall, India's commitment to green energy is an important step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly rail system. By partnering with a range of companies and organizations, exploring new technologies, and investing in renewable energy, the Indian Railways is setting a positive example for other rail operators around the world.