India officials change minds with GE order

Indian state railways leaders say they want GE to make electric locomotives
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NEW YORK — New political leadership in India could put a stop to GE Transportation’s contract to supply Indian Railways with 1,000 diesel locomotives, the Wall Street Journal reports.

GE secured a $2.5-billion contract in 2015 to build 1,000 Evolution series locomotives for Indian Railways as long as the locomotive supplier would manufacturer the locomotives locally in a new $200 million factory.

But now, India’s new railways minister has decided that India should have an all-electric locomotive fleet.

Rail officials who are familiar with the matter say India has not yet terminated its arrangement with GE, but officials are exploring options to see if the supplier can build electric locomotives. GE executives recently met one-on-one with the new railways minister to talk about the project, sources say.

Bloomberg cites GE representatives who say that changing the agreement would undermine one of the country’s most promising infrastructure projects, while also placing India at risk for substantial fees associated with the project.

Indian Railways’ entire network includes more than 41,400 miles.

GE Transportation's facility near Erie, Pa., has catenary strung over test track but the company has not produced a commercial electric locomotive in decades.

See the original story online.

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