THE first fully-painted ES43ACmi Evolution Series diesel locomotive for Indian Railways (IR) has emerged from GE Transportation’s plant in Erie, Pennsylvania on August 3 and is due to be shipped to India within the next few weeks.
The six-axle 1676mm-gauge locomotive carries a specially-designed livery with red representing energy and yellow symbolising freshness.
GE was awarded a $US 2.5bn contract in November 2015 to supply 700 3.36MW ES43ACmi locomotives (designated WDG4G by IR) and 300 4.47MW ES57ACi units over an 11-year period through a joint venture with IR. The more powerful variant is currently at the design stage and production is due to begin later this year.
The first 100 locomotives will be built at Erie and shipped either fully assembled or as kits, while the remaining 900 units will be constructed at a new joint venture production facility at Marhoura in the Indian state of Bihar. The 91.5-hectare facility is due to be commissioned next year.
In addition to production, the joint venture will be responsible for maintaining the fleet for a period of 13 years from the start of production.