Boost To Make In India: Railways Develop Country’s Fastest Electric Locomotive

Boost To Make In India: Railways Develop Country’s Fastest Electric Locomotive

This pioneering project has resulted in a cutting-edge technological breakthrough for the country's railway infrastructure

Kamal MishraUpdated: Saturday, December 23, 2023, 08:39 PM IST
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FPJ

Indian Railways, in collaboration with Alstom has successfully developed and deployed WAG 12B electric locomotive, the most powerful locomotive of India marking a significant milestone in the nation's 'Make in India' initiative. This pioneering project has resulted in a cutting-edge technological breakthrough for the country's railway infrastructure.

The joint venture between Alstom and Indian Railways under the name Madhepura Electric Locomotive Private Ltd (MELPL) has paved a path for the creation of 800 fully electric, high-powered, double-section locomotives. These locomotives are designed to facilitate faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains along the Dedicated Freight Corridors, contributing to a more efficient and sustainable transportation network.

Key Technical Specifications of WAG 12B Electric Locomotive:

- Traction horsepower: 12,000 HP (9 MW)

- Maximum speed: 120 Kmph

- Axle load: 22.5/25 Ton

- Hauling capability: 6,000 tons/6,300 tons at 60 Kmph on a 1/150 slope

- Starting tractive effort: 706/785 KN

- Continuous tractive effort: 540 KN

- Maximum regenerative effort: 514 KN

- Traction total efficiency with gearbox: 89%

Manufactured at the expansive Madhepura site in Bihar, these WAG 12B e-locos represent India's entry into the league of nations (6th in the world to join the club of countries) producing high horsepower locomotives indigenously. The Madhepura facility spans across 250 acres and operates at international safety and quality standards with a production capacity of 120 locomotives annually, achieving over 85% indigenization.

Salient Features of E-Loco

• Panto Control

• Brake Blending Control

• VCB Control

• Flap Control

• Propulsion Control

• Machine Room Temperature Monitoring

• Ethernet based Architecture

• Emergency Brake and Emergency Off control

• Cruise Control

• TE/BE Limit Control

• Speed Freeze (Memory)

• Bogie Cut-off Control

• All Auxiliary Blower Control

• VCD Control

• Battery Charger Control

• HVAC

• Drive and Brake Control

• Dehumidifier

• Regenerative Braking

• Wheel Slip & Slide Control

• Soft Driving Mode through DDU available during Master Controller Failure

• Soft Control Available on DDU for Panto, VCB,Compressor,Eblock, Sanding etc

• Loco Shutdown though DDU

• Fire Detection System

• Fault Diagnosis

• Health Hub for real time data analysis

• Redundant TCMS and BCM System

• Two units (A and B) permanently coupled to each other. Both units only have cabs on the outward-facing ends.

• Both units will be controlled from the working cab.

• Two Pantographs are provided, in Which only One will feed Power

• The units are connected to each other through a vestibule and gangway.

• All the HV apparatus Like MCB,PT, CT,SA are Placed in Machine room 

Further supporting the initiative towards a greener railway network, Central Railway underscores its commitment to reducing carbon emissions and adopting cleaner technologies.

Key Facilities of the Project:

- Saharanpur Depot: The Saharanpur depot is an ultramodern maintenance depot equipped with the latest technologies and features to anticipate breakdowns, thereby enabling proactive maintenance of India's most advanced freight locomotives. This depot has a training center with a loco simulator and smart classrooms for railway staff and loco pilots to improve their skills.

- MELPL Government Maintenance Depot, Nagpur: This state-of-the-art greenfield factory supports the construction of powerful locomotives based on cutting-edge global technology. Covering 17.6 acres of land, the facility enhances the maintenance capacity of WAG 12, showcasing a collaborative partnership between Alstom and Indian Railways.

Nagpur Government Depot, a part of the Madhepura Electric Locomotive Private Limited (MELPL), represents a significant aspect of the 'Make in India' initiative. The depot oversees the maintenance of a fleet ranging from 251 to 500 E-locomotives over a four-year period, with technical supervision provided by Alstom and maintenance/support staff supplied by Indian Railways. 

The Nagpur MELPL Government Maintenance Depot, constituting a crucial element of India's railway infrastructure, aims to be a pioneering example of a customer-centric and benchmark site for locomotive maintenance under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. With a vision to enhance operational agility while upholding the highest standards of safety, quality, and reliability, the depot aims to cultivate a culture of teamwork, ethical conduct, and mutual recognition within its workforce.

Additionally, this depot boasts an advanced infrastructure, including a sprawling 17.6-acre land, a 10,800 square meters depot, a 1,777 square meters warehouse, 3.29 kilometers of track, and a 3.5-kilometer 25KV power supply. The facility's industrial footprint incorporates 12 tracks equipped with high-tech industrial equipment, and it manages a supply chain catering to 3,000 unique parts. Ultimately, the depot endeavors to provide innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable maintenance solutions while marking a significant milestone in India's 'Make in India' vision for the railways.

Currently, 126 WAG 12 locomotives are being maintained at the Nagpur depot.

The technical prowess of the WAG 12B electric locomotive is evident by its advanced features, including a robust bogie design, traction efficiency, and driver-centric cab functionalities, contributing to operational efficiency and safety.

Central Railway envisions these initiatives to foster customer-centric, innovative, and sustainable maintenance solutions while prioritizing safety, reliability, and operational excellence.

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