Alstom announces commissioning of freight locomotives for Azerbaijani railways

French transport engineering company Alstom has announced that it has ordered the first seven Prima T8 AZ8A freight locomotives from Azerbaijani Railways.

“We are pleased that our locomotives have entered commercial operation in Azerbaijan,” said Guillaume Tritter, Managing Director of Alstom West and Central Asia.

“Despite the significant challenges imposed by the global pandemic, we were able to produce, perform all the necessary validation tests and deliver locomotives ready for operation.”

Alstom’s Prima T8 is one of the most powerful electrical devices locomotives in the world. This model is a two-section, 25-ton per axle freight locomotive capable of towing up to 9,000 tons and traveling at 120 km / h, with an installed continuous power of 8.8 megawatts. The Prima T8 AZ8A is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -25 ° C to 50 ° C. It requires minimal maintenance and offers high levels of reliability and low life cycle costs thanks to its modular design.

Alstom and Azerbaijani Railways signed the agreement in 2014 during a visit to Baku by former French President François Hollande. Under this agreement, worth 288 million euros, Alstom would have had to manufacture and deliver 10 Prima M4 AZ4A passenger wagons and 40 Prima T8 AZ8A freight wagons. All passenger locomotives have been assembled at Alstom’s plant in France and have already been delivered in Azerbaijan. Freight locomotives are assembled at the company’s plant in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. Delivery of the remaining cars is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

In addition, as part of the agreement, Alstom specialists provide technical support and maintenance services at two service depots located in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and Ganja, the second city of Azerbaijan. country. They also train the staff of the Azerbaijani Railways in driving locomotives.

According to the company’s statement, the locomotives will run along the freight transit line, better known as the East-West Corridor.

“Our locomotives play a key role in increasing the freight transport capacity in Azerbaijan, moreover, they also contribute to the country’s ambitious goals of interconnecting neighboring countries,” Tritter said.

The East-West Transport Corridor is a land transport corridor that stretches from China to Turkey and finally to Europe. Azerbaijan is integrated into the route, which begins in eastern China and stretches west, crossing Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. From there it branches off in two directions: Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2017, Azerbaijan launched the 846 km (526 mile) long Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, which is considered the most important link in the modern South Caucasus rail network. The railroad is expected to cut transit time for shipping goods from the Far East to Europe by almost half.

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