New Delhi: It was a proud moment for Indian Railways, as it became 6th country in the world to join the elite club of producing high horsepower locomotive indigenously. The Railways said that first 12,000 HP made in India locomotive, manufactured by Madhepura Electric Loco Factory situated in Bihar, has been put into operation by Indian Railways from 'Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction' station on May 19. The maiden train departed from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station at 2 PM in long haul formation for Dhanbad Division of East Central Railway, consisting of 118 wagons which travelled from Pt DeenDayalUpadhyayaJn to Barwadih via Dehri-on-Sone, Garhwa Road.
The locomotive has been produced under the Make in India programme. The Madhepura factory is the largest integrated Green Field facility built to the highest standards of quality and safety with the production capacity of 120 locomotives and spread across a massive 250 acres.
Main Factory Building
These locomotives are state of art IGBT based, 3 phase drive, 9000 KW (12,000 horsepower) electric locomotive. The locomotive is capable of the 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. 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 the ground through a microwave link.
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 a regenerative braking system which provides substantial energy savings during operations. These high horsepower locomotives will help to decongest the saturated tracks by improving the average speed of freight trains.
Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL) will manufacture 800 state-of-the-art 12,000 HP electric freight locomotives in 11 years and being one of the most power full-electric locomotives in the world will increase the speed of freight trains and will allow faster, safer and heavier freight trains to move across the country, thus reducing congestion in traffic. It will also lead to considerable savings in energy consumption through regenerative braking. As part of the project, factory along with township has been set up in Madhepura, Bihar with the 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 2,000 crores has already been invested in the project by the company.
Along with the factory, socio-economic development 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.
Railways has entered into Procurement cum Maintenance Agreement with 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 Indian Railways.
The project started in 2018 and the Prime Minister inaugurated the project on April 10, 2018. The prototype locomotive was delivered in March 2018. Based on the test results having design issues, the complete locomotive including bogies has been redesigned. The new design of locomotive has been inspected by RDSO at Madhepura factory and cleared for dispatch from the factory on November 16, 2019. Further RDSO has conducted oscillation trials at various speeds up to 132 kmph and the locomotive has passed oscillation trials successfully. The locomotive has made its maiden commercial run between Deen Dayal Upadhaya station to Shivpur on May 18. The design was completed for the whole locomotive in a record time of four to six months and despite the initial hiccups and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it could not dampen the spirit of august initiative of Railways, surpassing all odds we could secure the permission of the government of Bihar to resume operations at the Madhepura Factory putting the project back on track.