The Indian Railways has operationalised its first 12,000 HP Made in India locomotive. The locomotive has been manufactured by Madhepura Electric Loco Factory situated in Bihar and was put into operation by the Railways from Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Jn Station.
The loco is named WAG12 with Number 60027. The train departed from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Station in long haul formation for Dhanbad Division of East Central Railway, consisting of 118 wagons which travelled from Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Jn to Barwadih via Dehri-on-Sone, Garhwa Road.
India has now become the sixth country in the world to join the elite club of producing high horse power locomotive indigenously. It is the first time high horse power locomotive has been operationalised on broad gauge track in the world.
The locomotive has been produced under Make in India programme. These locomotives are state-of-the-art IGBT-based, three-phase drive, 9,000 kW (12000 horse power) electric locomotives. The locomotive is capable of maximum tractive effort of 706 kN, which is capable of starting and running a 6,000 T train in the gradient of one in 150.
The locomotive with twin Bo-Bo design having 22.5 tonne axle load is upgradable to 25 tonne with design speed of 120 km per hour.
The locomotive will be utilised for trains for Dedicated Freight Corridor. The locomotives can be tracked through GPS for its strategic use through embedded software and the antennae being lifted through the servers on ground through microwave link.
It is capable of working on railway tracks with conventional OHE lines as well as on Dedicated Freight Corridors with high-rise OHE lines. It has air-conditioned driver cabs on either side.
Madhepura Electric Locomotive (MELPL) will manufacture 800 HP electric freight locomotives in 11 years. As part of the project, a factory along with a township has been set up in Madhepura, Bihar with capacity to manufacture 120 locomotives per year.
The project will create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country. The company has already invested over Rs 2,000 crore in the project.
Along with the factory, socio-economic development in Madhepura is being driven by this project. As part of CSR initiative skill centres are being set up in Madhepura.
The Indian Railways had entered into procurement-cum-maintenance agreement with MELPL, as part of the largest Foreign Direct Investment project of the Indian Railways to transform the heavy freight transportation landscape of the country.
The project started in 2018 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated it on 10 April 2018.