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India on the cusp of a logistics revolution: Alain Spohr of Alstom India

Braving the Covid-19 situation, global major Alstom has delivered 24 electric locomotives to the Indian Railways in the last two months making one of the largest foreign direct investments in the rail sector a reality. Alain Spohr, Managing Director, Alstom India and South Asia, talks about the future of this project, the role of dedicated freight corridors in the sector and the planned private train project in an exclusive interview with Shine Jacob. Edited Excerpts:

You have started delivering electric locomotives (e-locos) to the Indian Railways as part of the 2015 contract. How do you evaluate the progress of this project so far?

Prima WAG12 e-locos are built as part of the country’s largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Indian Railways. Until recently, the Railways has been extremely independent and never had joint ventures for its large projects. Signing a partnership with Alstom in 2015 marked the beginning of a new era for the Railways. And for us, it wouldn’t be wrong if I said that this project was ‘A first of its kind Make-in-India challenge’, that resulted in a technological breakthrough. The contract worth €3.5 billion includes manufacturing of 800 double-section, 12,000-horsepower electric locomotives for freight service and associated maintenance for a period of 11 years.

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