NEW DELHI: The Railways will roll out a high-power electric locomotive early next year which will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed. The public transporter is looking to manufacture 800 such train engines over the next 11 years in a joint venture with French giant Alstom, at the Madhepura Locomotive Factory in Bihar. This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector, said a senior Railway Ministry official. The 12,000 HP (horsepower) locomotives will help in speeding up movement of goods by increasing the average speed of freight trains from 25 kmph to 50 kmph. The Railways is currently using 6,000 HP locomotives for freight services.
The increase in speed would also result in improving line capacity in the rail network, the official said.
As per schedule, 35 locomotives would be rolled out from the factory by 2020, 60 in 2021, followed by 100 every year till the target of 800 is completed.