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India today received first of the 1,000 high-power diesel-electric railway locomotives that are to be supplied by American industrial giant GE as part of a $2.5 billion agreement signed in 2015 aimed at modernizing the country’s ageing loco fleet.
“GE Transportation today took another important step forward in its partnership with Indian Railways when the first of 1,000 diesel-electric Evolution series locomotives arrived at India’s Mundra Port,” the company said in a statement.
This will be the first ever diesel-electric locomotive running on Indian tracks which complies with the international UIC 1 standard on emissions, the company said. The locomotive was designed at the John F Welch Technology Center in Bangalore.
This is the first of 40 locomotives which are to be imported from the U.S. The remaining 960 will be built at GE’s factory being constructed at Marhowra in Bihar, and is expected to open in 2018. The partnership is also expected to provide technical training and employment opportunities for the local community in Bihar.
“Our partnership with Indian Railways is a best-in-class bilateral example of how entities can work together to create jobs and drive economic development in a region,” said Vishal Wanchoo, President & CEO, GE South Asia. “Through this project, we’re creating a robust supply chain ecosystem in India, and will localize more than 70 percent of all content. We’re proud of the more than 6,000 jobs, that have been created by GE in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh,” he added.
Commenting on the development, GE Transportation’s President and CEO-International Nalin Jain said the construction of the Marhowra factory and maintenance shed in Roza is underway and the company is delivering in line with the contractual timelines.
GE Transportation is building two locomotive models for Indian Railways. The latest ES43ACmi model is a dual-cab locomotive with a 4,500-horsepower engine. The second locomotive, model ES57ACi, features a 6,000-horsepower engine. It is currently in the design phase and will begin production later this year.
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