Indian Railways Siemens Mobility 9000 hp electric freight locomotive imnpression (Image Siemens Mobility)

INDIA: Indian Railways has awarded Siemens Mobility a contract to supply and maintain 1 200 electric freight locomotives. Intended for use on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and on steeply graded routes, these will have the ability to haul 4 500 tonne double-stack container trains at 75 km/h on 1 in 200 gradients, raising the average speeds of such trains from 20-25 km/h to 50-60 km/h. 

Announcing the finalisation of its largest ever locomotive order, Siemens Mobility said the 9 000 hp locos would be amongst the most powerful in the world.

The order has a total value of approximately Rs260bn, excluding taxes and price variation, and ‘cements a firm commitment from Indian Railways to achieve 100% electrification of rail traffic’, said Siemens Mobility CEO Michael Peter on January 16.


Siemens Mobility had been named lowest bidder for the contract to act as Indian Railway’s technology partner for the 9 000 hp loco programme in December, beating a rival offer from Alstom. It is the largest order in the history of Siemens India, which was established in 1867 when Werner von Siemens and his brothers built the Indo-European telegraph line from London to Kolkata.

Production and maintenance will be undertaken using Indian Railways staff.

The locomotives are to be assembled at the Indian Railways electric loco factory at Dahod in Gujarat in 2023-34. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for the expansion of the site in April last year.

IGBT traction equipment is to be produced at Siemens Mobility factories in India. The Ministry of Railways said ‘suitable economic drivers will ensure complete indigenisation of the manufacturing which in turn will lead to development of ancillary manufacturing units making it a true Make in India initiative’.

The prototype locomotives are to be delivered within two years.

The ministry said there is a provision to manufacture standard gauge locomotives for export markets.


Siemens Mobility will provide 35 years of full-service maintenance at Indian Railways depots in Vishakhapatnam, Raipur, Kharagpur and Pune, using its Railigent data platform to meet the key performance indicators of 95% availability and 150 000 km of trouble-free operation.

‘Siemens is supporting the sustainable transformation of India’s transportation sector as the country seeks to almost double freight capacity on its railways’, said CEO Roland Busch. ’I’m proud that this major order will help India achieve its ambitious goal of creating the world’s largest green rail network, as our locomotives will save more than 800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifecycle.’