The contract between Alstom and Indian Railways, worth 3.5 billion euros and signed in 2015, is for 800 fully electric 12,000 HP locomotives for freight services. Each one is capable of hauling around 6,000 tons at a maximum speed of 120km/h.
Alstom Prima T8 electric locomotive for Indian Railways
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. Faster trains have helped bring up the average speed by 83 percent. The resulting shorter turnaround times have been beneficial, for instance during the transport of essential goods during COVID-19.
The first of the Alstom locomotives under this contract – a Prima T8TM WAG-12B, entered commercial service in May 2020. The freight locomotives are operating on Dedicated Freight Corridors in the country and have so far clocked up almost 5 million kilometres, transporting a wide range of goods. These locomotives made the inaugural run on the first fully operational sections of the Dedicated Freight Corridors in December 2020.
Goods transported by these locomotives include coal, cement, food grains, fertilisers, petrochemical products, minerals, and posts/ parcels, across 17 federal states and 2 union territories.