India’s first high-speed freight locomotive to be rolled out next year

The Railways will roll out a first-of-its-kind high-power electric locomotive early next year which will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed.

The public transporter is looking to manufacture 800 such train engines over the next 11 years in a joint venture with French giant Alstom, at the Madhepura locomotive factory in Bihar. This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector, said a senior railway ministry official.

The first such locomotive, estimated to cost about Rs30 crore, will be assembled with components brought in from Alstom’s factories in France and will have its trial run by February next year. The 12,000HP (horsepower) locomotives will help in speeding up movement of goods by increasing the average speed of freight trains from 25kmph to 50kmph.

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