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Global engineering and technology company Siemens has signed a 26,000 crore ($3.25 billion) contract with the Indian Railways for supplying and servicing electric locomotives for freight movement.

In a statement, the German engineering firm said the deal is the biggest locomotive deal in Siemens Mobility’s history and the single largest order for the company in India.

According to the terms, Siemens will be delivering 1,200 electric locomotives of 9,000 horse power, besides a servicing contract for 35 years.

“Siemens Ltd will design, manufacture, commission and test the locomotives. Delivery of 1,200 locos will be undertaken over an 11-year period. The contract includes 35 years of full service maintenance. Locomotives will be assembled at the Indian Railways factory in Dahod, Gujarat," Michael Peter, chief executive, Siemens Mobility, said. “We will build artificial intelligence into the locomotives to predict failure before it happens to bring availability up. The first set of locos will be up for delivery in 24 months," he added.

The 9,000 HP loco will be a first for the Indian Railways and will allow it to increase the capacity of freight trains while significantly improving speed of operation. The Siemens-designed locos will come with a top speed of 120 km per hour.

“The order was a big step for Siemens in India," Peter said, adding that it will strengthen the company’s presence in the market, which holds immense potential for Siemen’s Mobility, which offers components and infrastructure in India.

“The electric locomotive is a significant milestone in rail electrification of Indian Railways. We are proud to build these in India using the latest technology provided by Siemens Mobility. This is another step in our strategy of continued localisation under Make in India, to provide integrated, cost-effective and sustainable offerings to meet India’s freight and passenger transportation demands," said Sunil Mathur, managing director and chief executive officer, Siemens.

While the locomotives will be assembled in Dahod, maintenance will be performed in four depots of Indian Railways located in Vishakhapatnam, Raipur, Kharagpur and Pune. The locomotive assembly and maintenance will be implemented with the employees of the Indian Railways.

The state-of-the-art locomotives will be used for freight transport throughout the Indian Railways network and are specified to haul loads of 4,500 tons at a maximum speed of 120 km per hour. Producing 9000 HP, they will be one of the most powerful freight locomotives in the world. They will be equipped with advanced propulsion systems that are also produced locally in Siemens factories in India as well as the Railigent platform to deliver high levels of availability and performance.

Peters said Siemens was also looking at other train contracts in India which has one of the world’s largest rail transport and logistics networks used daily by 24 million passengers on more than 22,000 trains.

Additionally, the Government plans to increase the share of railways in freight to 40-45% from the current 27%. India is one of the few countries in the world with an almost fully-electrified rail network, Siemens said in a statement.

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