It was indeed a proud moment for the Indian railways when the most powerful engine departed from DeenDayalUpadhyaya Station. Indian becomes the sixth country in the world to join the elite club of producing high horse power locomotive indigenously.
The loco named WAG12 is the first 12000 HP engine made in India Locomotive manufactured by Madhepura Electric Loco Factory in Bihar. It is the first time that a high horse power locomotive is operationalised on broad gauge track in the world, an official release said. The locomotive has been produced under Make in India programme. The Madhepura factory is the largest integrated Green Field facility built to the highest standards of quality and safety with production capacity of 120 locomotives and spread across a massive 250 acres.
The high powered locomotive is capable of maximum tractive effort of 706 kN, which is capable of starting and running a 6000 T train in the gradient of 1 in 150. The locomotive with twin Bo-Bo design having 22.5 T (Tonnes) axle load is upgradable to 25 Tonnes with design speed of 120 kmph, the release said. This locomotive will be a game changer for further movement of coal trains for Dedicated Freight Corridor. The locomotives can be tracked through GPS for its strategic use through embedded software and Antennae being lifted through the servers on ground through microwave link, the official communication said.
The locomotive is capable of working on railway tracks with conventional OHE lines as well as on Dedicated Freight corridors with high rise OHE lines. The locomotive has air-conditioned driver cabs on either side. The locomotive is equipped with regenerative braking system which provides substantial energy savings during operations. These high horse power locomotives will help to decongest the saturated tracks by improving average speed of freight trains.
Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL) will manufacture 800 State of the Art 12000 HP Electric Freight Locomotives in 11 years. 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 has already been invested in the project by the company.
It may be noted that Indian Railways entered into Procurement cum Maintenance Agreement with Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL), as part of the largest Foreign Direct Investment project of Indian Railways to transform the heavy freight transportation landscape of the country. This is ‘Make in India’ Initiative by India Railways (IR).