Today is a landmark day for the Indian Railways, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off India’s first 12,000 Horsepower (HP) Electric Locomotive, from the Madhepura Loco factory in Bihar.
By adding this one-of-a-kind, high-speed electric locomotive to its fleet, India joins an elite club of countries including Russia, China, Germany and Sweden, that operate electric locomotives which have a capacity of 12,000 HP and above. Till now, the most powerful electric engine in Indian Railways was of 6,000 HP.
Here are 5 facts you need to know about the new high-power locomotive:
1. The heavy-haulage electric locomotive can hit speeds of 110 kmph and will help in decongesting saturated routes by improving the speed and carrying capacity of freight trains.
2. The first 5 of these state-of-the-art locomotives will be imported, while the rest of the 800 will be manufactured in India.
3. Being the first ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) project in the rail sector, close to 800 such engines are to make inroads in the Indian Rail system over the next 11 years.
4. The first bodyshell for the fleet of 12000 HP and 800 WAG12 twin-section electric locomotives was unloaded at Haldia in the Port of Kolkata on September 20.
5. Equipped with ABB transformers and Knorr-Bremse braking systems, the 9 MW locomotives, with a maximum speed of 120 km/h, are expected to double the productivity on the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and raise the average speed of heavy freight trains on other routes.
If things go as planned, 35 locomotives will be operational by 2020, 60 in 2021, followed by 100 every year till the contact of 800 engines is accomplished. The new electric locomotives will also be instrumental in bringing down greenhouse emissions-an environmentally friendly measure.