Modi flags off India’s first electric locomotive: here’s all you need to know about the superfast train

By Elton Gomes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off India’s first 12,000 horsepower (HP) electric locomotive from its factory in Madhepura, Bihar. Keeping the Make in India campaign in mind, the Modi hailed the new electric freight train manufacturing factory as “a major medium of employment.”

The prime minister said that the train manufacturing factory was important for two reasons: “Firstly, this is a good example of Make in India, and secondly, it is also becoming a major medium of employment in this area,” NDTV reported.

A joint venture with French company Alstom

The project is the first big initiative to be completed in the Make in India campaign. The project was a joint venture with French transport company Alstom, and 800 such trains will be manufactured over a period of 11 years, at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore, according to NDTV.

In light of the Indian Railways’s aim to achieve 100% electrification, the new locomotive will reduce operating cost for the railways. It will also cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, in a significant push to go green.

According to a report by DNA, The 12,000-hp, double-section locomotive, has a hauling capacity of 6,000 tonnes and can run at 120 kilometres per hour. The hauling capacity combined with the speed of the train will allow for a faster and quicker movement of excess cargo across the country.

Make in India gets another boost

The joint project with Alstom marked a considerable boost to the Make in India campaign. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheme received another boost when the railways planned to replace the Shatabdi Express trains with the first ever, semi-high speed train—Train 18— which is slated to be made completely in India. The train is scheduled to be launched around the month of June this year.

Train 18 is expected be equipped with the all latest amenities to ease commuters’s hassles. It will be fully air conditioned, and will be equipped with a wifi connection, as well as a GPS information system.

It appears that there will be many exciting changes in the future for the Indian Railways, with several new projects in the offing. After introducing services on the Goregaon-CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) line and partially AC trains, it seems that the government is looking to substantially improve its track record.

Indian RailwaysMake in IndiaModiNarendra Modi