INDIAN Railways is negotiating a technology transfer agreement with General Electric of the USA for upgrading its fleet of 3000 WDM2 diesel locos, built to an Alco design of the late 1950s.

This month IR is due to put into service the first of 20 diesels being supplied by General Motors at a cost of US$40m. Delivered to Calcutta at the end of March, they will haul premier Rajdhani Express trains on non-electrified routes.

The first locally-built 4000 hp loco to the GM design under a U$17·5m technology transfer agreement is expected to roll out of the Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi in December. DLW produced 160 Alco-designed locos in 1998-99, but IR Board Member, Mechanical, Ashok Kumar says ’we want to convert the entire production to 4000 hp locos.’

  • IR is to restructure its six workshops as independent profit centres, giving them more freedom to acquire new technology and sign deals with foreign suppliers. The six are DLW Varanasi, Chittaranjan Loco Works (now building electric locos under a technology transfer agreement with Adtranz), the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, the Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala, the Wheel & Axle Plant in Yelahanka and the Diesel Component Works at Patalia.