ABB will supply 50Hz underframe traction transformers for the 800 locomotives. The compact transformers are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and voltage fluctuations.

The transformers will be manufactured at ABB’s facility in the Indian state of Gujarat. The order supports the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative which aims to encourage manufacturing in the country. All but the first five of the 120km/h 8.9MW locomotives will be assembled in India under the agreement.

The IGBT-equipped locomotives will be built at a new production plant at Madhepura in the Bihar state under a joint venture agreed with Alstom in November 2015 in which India Railways (IR) holds a 26% stake. Deliveries will take place between 2018 and 2028. The locomotives will be used on India’s future dedicated freight corridors and help IR to achieve its target of increasing average freight trains speeds from 20-25km/h to 50-60km/h.