As a part of government's 'Swadeshi Movement' - Make In India project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off India's first high-speed electric locomotive assembled in Bihar. The 12,000-horsepower electric locomotive has been launched from the state's Madhepura loco factory. The PM has dedicated the Madhepura factory to the nation.
Here we bring you some key highlights of the locomotive and its launch.
1. The launch is a part of a joint venture of the Indian Railways with French giant Astom. The agreement was signed in 2015.
2. This is Indian Railways' first high-speed electric locomotive to its list of transport vehicles.
3. It is India's first major FDI project in the rail sector.
4. While the first five electric engines will be imported from abroad the remaining 795 are expected to be manufactured in India over a period of 11 years.
5. Each locomotive will cost around Rs 25 crore while Rs 1,300 crore need to be invested for setting up the factory at Madhepura and two loco maintenance depots at Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Nagpur (Maharashtra). The project includes a stupendous amount of Rs 20,000 crore.
6. The high-speed locos will have a maximum speed of 110 km per hour. With this launch, India will join an elite list of countries, including Russia, China, Germany and Sweden, that have 12,000 HP and above capacity electric locomotives.
7. India will roll out five locomotives in the financial year 2018-19 while about 35 locos are expected to be manufactured at the Madhepura factory in the next financial year (2019-20). As many as 60 high-speed locomotives will be produced in 2020-21.
8. With this high-speed locomotive, India aims to bring down the operating costs for the Indian Railways. The new locos are also expected to cut down the greenhouse gas emissions.
9. The high horsepower locos will serve as freight trains. These will be pressed into service to transport coal and iron ore.
10. In 2007, then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav laid the foundation stone of the factory. The locomotive factory is situated in Madhepura, 284 km northeast of state capital Patna.