INDIAN Railways (IR) has put into service the first of 800 WAG-12 or Prima T8 electric two-section locomotives supplied by Alstom SA, International Railway Journal reports.
SAFT will be part of this project by supplying Ni-Cd batteries for 800 electric freight locomotives in India. The batteries are being manufactured at company’s Bibadi plant in Bangalore and will provide backup power for all vehicle control and critical safety systems.
This follows their certification for operation by the Ministry of Railways and Commissioner of Railway Safety/RDSO. The locomotives will be deployed on India’s new Dedicated Freight Corridors. Commissioning of the first sections of the Eastern and Western corridors is underway, and both lines should be completed by the end of 2021.
France-based Alstom says the 9MW locomotives are the most powerful to operate in India. The units will be able to haul 6000-tonne freight trains. They have a maximum speed of 100km/h which can be upgraded to 120km/h. The WAG-12 locomotives have an Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) traction system and are designed for regenerative braking.
Each locomotive is 38.4m long, 3058mm wide, and 4245m high. The locomotives have a double Bo-Bo wheel arrangement. The units weigh 200 tonnes with a 25-tonne axleload, and 180 tonnes with a 22.5-tonne axleload. They can operate in temperatures ranging between -10oC and 50oC.
The locomotives are being supplied under a €3.5bn contract awarded in 2015 by a joint venture of India’s Ministry of Railways and Alstom. The contract includes 11 years of maintenance and the construction of a manufacturing plant at Madhepura in Bihar state, which has a production capacity of 120 locomotives per year, and two depots. The depot at Saharanpur has already opened and the one in Nagpur is still under construction. The locomotives were designed at Alstom’s Engineering Centre in Bengaluru.