Thursday, August 03, 2017

First ES43ACmi bound for India

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ES43ACmi for Indian Railways ES43ACmi for Indian Railways GE Transportation

GE Transportation has completed the first of 1,000 ES43ACmi broad-gauge diesel-electric locomotives for Indian Railways as part of a $2.5 billion order. The Evolution Series locomotive, Indian Railways class WDG4G, sports the railroad’s new paint scheme, a distinctive red and yellow pattern holding special meaning in India, with red and yellow representing “energy” and “freshness,” respectively.

The locomotive received its new livery following nearly two months of test and validation. Indian Railways’ new color scheme was completed using approximately 50 gallons of paint. The coating and paint “will provide the locomotive protection in the harsh environments where Indian Railways operates,” GE said. With paint completed, GE expects to ship the locomotive in a few weeks. It is expected to arrive in India later this year.

The ES43ACmi is one of two models GE Transportation is building for Indian Railways. It’s a dual-cab design with a 4,500-hp prime-mover. The second locomotive model, the ES57ACi, features a 6,000-hp prime-mover. It is currently in the design phase and will begin production later this year. Both locomotive models are part of the Government of India’s Public Private Partnership program to modernize the country’s rail infrastructure. The GE deal is part of $137 billion the Indian government plans to invest to modernize the country’s rail system by 2020. India has more than 41,000 miles of rail. The rail system carries about 8.3 billion passengers a year and more than 1 billion tons of freight. 

Production of India’s GE locomotives will shift to a joint 500,000-square-foot facility now under construction in Marhaura, a small town in Bihar, India, that will build the bulk of the order under a master cooperative agreement between the parties. GE’s engine plant in Grove City, Pa., will build the prime-movers for all 1,000 units. The first 40 or so locomotives will be fully built and assembled at GE’s Erie (Lawrence Park) facility and shipped to India. The next 60 or so will be supplied as kits and be assembled in India. The final 900 will be manufactured and assembled in India.

This development comes at about the same time that GE announced the closing of its Erie locomotive plant as it shifts production south to its new Texas plant in Fort Worth.

“It is great to see Indian Railways’ first locomotive emblazoned in the railroad’s ornate paint scheme,” said Nalin Jain, President and CEO of Asia Pacific for GE Transportation. “This is a great example of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, which will instill a sense of pride in Indians nationwide as it hauls freight throughout the country.”

“This new ES43ACmi locomotive is the ideal solution for Indian Railways’ modernization efforts,” said Yuvbir Singh, Vice President of Global Locomotive Operations for GE Transportation. “The design is based on our Evolution Series locomotives. It will provide greatly improved fuel efficiency and emissions compared to Indian Railways’ existing non-Evolution Series fleet.”