To boost ‘Make in India’, two railway locomotive projects coming up in Bihar at an estimated cost of Rs40,000 crore witnessed a flurry of activity recently, as per the news records.
While Alstom’s electric locomotive unit started production of the first electric engine at Madhepura, GE received its first diesel engine prototype imported from the US in Mumbai that would be manufactured at Marhaura. Commissioned by the government in 2015, the units are joint ventures between Indian Railways and the two companies. According to the agreements, the joint venture with Alstom will manufacture and supply modern electric locomotives, while the one with GE will make diesel engines.
The company’s Madhepura facility is spread across 250 acres and currently employs 70 people. It plans to ramp up production by 25% every year till it full capacity is reached. Alstom says its first locomotive will be ready for roll-out early next year. The first five locomotives will be completed by 2019 followed by 35 locomotives by 2020, 60 in 2021, and by 100 every year till the target of 800 is reached. The company is also setting-up two maintenance depots at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Nagpur in Maharashtra, records added.
Indian Railways plans to buy 1,800 engines from the two facilities over 11 years. Under the agreements, 1,000 diesel locomotives will be manufactured by the GE-led venture with a basic cost of Rs 14,656 crore, while the Alstom-led venture will manufacture and supply 800 electric locomotives at a basic cost of Rs 19,904 crore.
GE is building two locomotive models for Indian Railways which will be the first is a dual-cab locomotive with a 4,500-horsepower engine.