After there were speculations that the government may be planning to exit the diesel locomotive project with GE, railway minister Piyush Goyal said that the project is on track and will be initiated as per the planned schedule. Since the government is focusing on electrification of railways, there were speculations that the diesel locomotive project with GE may be shelved. However, after today’s statement given by Goyal, the speculations have been put to rest. The diesel locomotive manufacturing factory involving GE is scheduled to come up at Marhowrah in Bihar. The project is a joint venture between Indian Railways and US based General Electric (GE). The project was announced around 10 years back and it was for the production of diesel electric locomotives of 4,500 HP and 6,000 HP capacity.
The Letter of Award for the project was already issued in 2015. However, due to the government’s focus on electrification, there were speculations that the project may be shelved. Responding to the speculations, Goyal said, “The Marhowrah factory has been set up and I don’t think any change is happening.” However, Goyal also said that the government will be working with GE to find solutions to problems associated with diesel locomotives such as increased cost and maintenance, pollution, etc. The government will also ask GE to highlight the benefits of diesel engines, in view of the increased focus on electrification.