Alstom’s first 12,000hp Prima T8 locomotive begins operating in India

Alstom ELoco_5
Credit: Network Rail

The first Prima T8 electric locomotive, with 12,000hp, is now in service with Indian Railways, Alstom has confirmed.

Built by Alstom, and certified by the Ministry of Railways, the locomotives, known as WAG-12, are the most powerful to locomotives to ever run on Indian railways.

The contract, signed in 2015, will see a total of 800 locomotives built for Indian Railways.

The electric locomotives will allow for faster movement of heavy freight trains. The locos are capable of hauling 6000 tonnes at a speed of up to 120 kmph (approx 70mph). This means that the new locomotives will increase the average speed of freight trains in India by around 25 kmph (around 15mph).

“Alstom is very pleased to be delivering these electric locomotives to Indian Railways. The introduction of the Prima locomotives into the IR fleet demonstrates our commitment to the country. This revolutionary product which will be faster, safer and more environmentally friendly, and it will help write a new chapter for India’s sustainable mobility journey. We are immensely proud to be a partner in this,” said Ling Fang, Senior Vice President of Alstom Asia-Pacific.

Manufactured in line with the Make-in-India mandate, all of the 800 Prima locomotives are to be manufactured locally at the manufacturing facility at Madhepura, in Bihar. It is expected that 120 locomotives will be completed at the site each year.

Two maintenance depots at Saharanpur and Nagpur will ensure a high reliability of the locomotives.

The 800 locomotives are part of a contract signed between the Ministry of Railways and Alstom, and is worth £3.1bn (INR 25,000 crore), with the project creating more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country.

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  1. Could our reporter not have got some technical details for us ?
    India’s electric railway is quite modern but will it be of sufficient quality to allow
    these locos (even with both pans) up to draw that amount of voltage on start up with those
    train weights at every point on its system, or at perhaps just a few select known starting points? I am sure we would all like to read more than just perhaps an Indian/Alsthom press release. Please use a bit more journalistic ‘nounce’ for better reporting.

  2. Yes I agree with you about the lack of any details. 12,000 hp is a phenomenal output from one locomotive even if it is electrically-powered.

    From the photo, it looks exactly like 2 x 6000 hp locos back-to back.


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