In 2015, Alstom and the Government of India entered into an agreement to manufacture 800 high capacity modern electric locomotives. The Euro 3.5 Billion (INR 25,000 Cr) agreement led to the formation of a Joint Venture which established a green field factory over 250 Acres of land in Madhepura in Bihar state. This factory has a capacity to build 120 locomotives per year. The agreement also involved maintenance support for 11 years as well as construction of two maintenance depots at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Nagpur in Maharashtra states.
The locomotives have been designed at Alstom’s Engineering Centre at Bengaluru. The locomotives are christened Prima T-8 by Alstom and WAG 12 by the Indian Railways. These are high capacity 12,000 HP double section locomotives. The Prima T-8/ WAG 12 is designed for freight service, hence the “G” for goods in WAG. These locomotives can pull up to 6000 tons at a speed of 120 Km/h. These locomotives would initially be deployed on the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and later on other sectors.
The Prima T-8/ WAG 12 will increase the average speed of freight trains in India by 25 Km/h. These locomotives are built using the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) propulsion technology. The Prima T-8/ WAG 12 electric locomotives will also allow considerable savings in energy consumption thanks to the use of regenerative braking system.
The Prima T-8 offers a spacious driver cabin to provide a comfortable working environment. They are installed with, climate control, refrigerator, microwave, and a toilet . It fully complies with all the latest safety and ergonomics regulations so as to ensure that drivers can devote their full attention on doing their job.
These locomotives are expected to stay on the tracks longer thanks to their modular and standardised architecture. This makes their maintenance and spare part management easier.