With an estimated investment of Rs 12.94bn ($US 238m), the Madhepura facility will assemble 8.94MW electric locos. Currently India's only electric manufacturing plant at Chittranjan builds only 4.47MW units. The diesel factory planned at Marhoura will manufacture 3.73MW locomotives.

For the electric facility, four suppliers have been shortlisted by the International Committee on Bidding (ICB): Siemens, Alstom, GE, and Bombardier.

GE and the EMD have been short-listed for the diesel factory, which is expected to cost around Rs20.25bn.

It is anticipated that the Madhepura plant will manufacture 800 electric locomotives per year, with performance guarantees based on international best practice. Additionally, the factory will also build 200 8.94MW electric locomotives for the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, which are being financed through a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Indian Railways currently operates a fleet of around 5400 diesel and 4300 electric locomotives. Approximately 600 locomotives are rolled out each year by the two existing production units at Varanasi and Chittranjan, but the numbers have remained marginally short of requirements.

Undergoing a huge expansion of its fixed assets, Indian Railways needs to urgently scale up its locomotive manufacturing activities. Indian Railways says it needs to procure 2010 electric and 2000 diesel locomotives over the next five years.