Indian Railways has entered into Procurement cum Maintenance Agreement with Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL), a joint venture of Indian Railways and M/s Alstom. As part of largest Foreign Direct Investment project of Indian Railways, 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 Euro was signed to manufacture 800 electric locomotives for freight service and its associated maintenance.
M/s Alstom has delivered prototype locomotive in March 2018. Based on the test results, Alstom has redesigned the complete locomotive including bogies. The new design of locomotive has been inspected by RDSO at Madhepura factory and cleared for dispatch from factory. After test and trials M/s Alstom will accelerate the delivery schedule and supply 10 locomotives in FY 2019-20 and 90 locomotives in FY 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.
As part of the project, factory along with township has been set up in Madhepura, Bihar with capacity to manufacture 120 locomotives per year. The project will create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country. More than Rs 2000 Crores invested in the project already by the company. One Maintenance Depot already established in Saharanpur. Work starting on the second Depot at Nagpur. More than 300 Engineers from India and France are working in Bangalore, Madhepura and France on the Project. This is a truly « Make in India » project and even the first loco has been assembled in Madhepura factory. In two years time, more than 90% parts will be manufactured in India.
Along with the factory, socio-economic develpoment in Madhepura is being driven by this project. As part of CSR initiative skill centres are being set up in Madhepura to impart training to local people. More than 50% local people have been hired in the factory. A fully functional mobile health clinic is being operated in the villages around Madhepura.
Benefits of Project
Indian Railways have taken decision to have 12000 horse power twin Bo-Bo design Locomotive with 22.5 T (Tonnes) axle load upgradable to 25Tonnes with design speed of 120 kmph. This locomotive will be game changer for further movement of coal trains for Dedicated Freight Corridor. With the success of this project it will boost the “Make in India” programme of the Government of India. This will further develop ancillary units for locomotive components.
The project will allow faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains. It will haul 6000T trains at maximum speed of 100 kmph. With 100% electrification, the new locomotive will not only bring down operational cost for Railways, the locomotive will also reduce the congestion faced by Indian Railways. This will be used to haul heavier trains such as coal and iron ore.