The unveiling coincides with the Hindu festival Holi and GE says that the bright shades used on the locomotives represent “the spices of the country,” with red conveying energy while yellow reflects freshness.

GE was selected as preferred bidder for an Rs 220bn ($US 4.2bn) contract to establish a new joint venture production facility at Marhoura in the eastern Indian state of Bihar in November 2015.

GE is set to build at least 1000 Evolution Series diesel locomotives at the plant, with a delivery rate of 100 units per year at a basic price of Rs 146bn, but only the first 100 locomotives will be purchased outright. The plant is expected to be completed in 2018.

The joint venture will maintain the fleet for 13 years from the start of production, and the deal includes clauses guaranteeing minimum levels of performance and technology.