Indian Railways GP 140. Introduction of 3 Phase Locomotives in India. (The beginning of a new era)

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 GP 140: The Origin of WAP 5 and WAG 9

Indian Railways imported 22 WAG 9 and 11 WAP 5 locomotives from M/s. ABB/ADTranz, Switzerland in 1997-98. Later on, CLW started manufacturing these locomotives and were subsequently indigenised through transfer of technology.
The name of the project was IR GP-140. (IR-Indian Railways, G- Global, P-Procurement, 140- The number provided by World Bank)

ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation (after 1999 DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems), commonly known under its brand Adtranz, was a multi-national rail transport equipment manufacturer with facilities concentrated in Europe and the USA.
The company was created in 1996 in the merger of Daimler-Benz's and ABB's rail equipment manufacturing facilities, in 1999, DaimlerChrysler (nowDaimler AG) bought ABB's shares and changed its official name to DaimlerChrysler Rail SystemsBombardier Transportation acquired the company in 2001, at which time Adtranz was the world's second largest manufacturer of such equipment. The acquisition significantly increased the size of Bombardier's rail industry holdings making Bombardier the largest rail equipment manufacturer in the world.
Adtranz manufactured mainline locomotives, high-speed, regional, metro and underground passenger trains, trams and people movers as well as freight wagons. Non rolling stock businesses included railway electrification and signalling infrastructure.

The factories where the P5/G9 components were made:

Traction Motor = ABB-Birr,
Traction Transformer = ABB-Secheron,
Control Electronics = ABB-Turgi,
Assembly = ABB-Zurich
Loco shell and Fabrication = ABB-Australia
ADTranz/ABB :- The Factory then during 1990's....

The body shell ( & bogies ) of 30005 have just arrived at the ABB factory in Switzerland from its long journey from Australia, it is parked beside its brother (father,mother,sister or cousin) waiting to be picked up for delivery ready for hard work in the Swiss Alps somewhere.

The first two Indian locomotives WAP5 30000 & 30001 being tested in the ABB workshop in Switzerland after assembly, the bodies & bogies were made in Australia & fitted out in Switzerland.

The first Indian WAP 5 Locos being 11 total were all assembled & tested at the ABB factory in Switzerland, the bodies & bogies were manufactured in Australia, the first 2 were actually flown over in the large Russian transporter, they all then went by sea to Calcutta.

WAP 5 loco 30000 at the ABB factory in Switzerland undergoing one of its final quality assurance requirements before delivery is to pass a "water test" to ensure monsoon rains do not enter the locomotive by improper sealing of doors, windows & hatches etc., seen here being inspected after it had been through the high pressure water spray station.

A snap suring the delivery ceremony of 30000 WAP5. "The ceremony has started with everybody saying how wonderful everything is!" - Ron Bannon (Service Engineer, ABB)

When the WAP 5 locomotives were being assembled in the Swiss workshop one important thing was done at the beginning, that was to have a progress board placed in the front to show what stage of the build it had progressed to, the information was updated on a daily bases, this information was to show the customer, the ABB management & shop supervisors the status of each, the board showed the number of man hours used to that point, the expected delivery date, the build team name of the various tradesmen group, any errors found during constant inspections, a quality assurance certification of each stage. It would also be noted that workshop floor was cleaned spotless at all times & the locomotive was wrapped in plastic for most of the time to prevent accidental damage to the paintwork. Another thing was that any person who smoked cigarettes (most did at that time) must take an ash tray with them into the locomotive to stub the buts out & retain them, if anybody was seen throwing cigs or spitting on the floors or in the locos they would be dismissed immediately ! -- It was cleanliness & the best quality of materials + very competent tradesmen ( and women ) made this workshop one of the world's best for others to copy, if you think about it, it is easy to do requiring no real effort.

I.R. officials & government representatives + an Indian driver enter the cab for a "joyride" down the track.

WAP 5 locomotive 30000 Leaving the ABB Tramont factory on its long journey to Calcutta.

The test track at the ABB factory in Switzerland with WAP 5 loco 30000 being moved for the very 1st time.

During the delivery of #30000 Coconuts being smashed on the coupler of the very first WAP5 locomotive

WAP 5 locomotive 30000 has been driven by an experienced Indian driver to the end of the test track, but the officials back at the ceremony & party site were worried that it got lost so they called upon two Swiss mountain horn blowers to call the locomotive back, which after about 5 min's of Swiss musical blowing the locomotive heard the call & returned safely.

On the road transport to the Rhine to be loaded onto a barge for transit to Rotterdam in Holland, then by an Indian cargo vessel to Calcutta.

The locomotive bodies & bogies were built in the ABB factory in Victoria Australia, owing to some delays that occurred during manufacture the first two locomotives flew from Australia to Switzerland. You can now really say the WAP 5 locos can fly. 

A snapshot of an article from the brochure introduced by ABB back in 90s.

An article from the 90's.

It might be of interest to some here that the WAP 5 & WAG 9 locomotives do not have centre castings or pivot pins for the bogies to rotate around when negotiating curves and to transmit the traction & braking forces from the bogies to the locomotive underframe. The traction & braking forces are transmitted by "large" traction rods which are connected to the bogie end frame & to a traction pedestal frame under the locomotive a couple of metres away, as the bogie rotates the lateral forces to "swing" the loco around the corner is controlled by the large flexible secondary suspension springs which actually just distort without any damage, this in conjunction with the lateral dampers is enough for the turns to be made. The photo here shows the connection of the traction rod to the bogies


The first three 3 Phase passenger Locomotive being inaugurated at CLW in the year 2000. It was a WAP 7. Same as WAG 9 only with modified software and gear ratio.

Mamata Banerjee, the Railway Minister of India inaugurated the 1st passenger Locomotive(Derived from G9).

Some Snaps during the project GP-140 

The Conventional Locomotives WAG 7 being manufactured at CLW, Assembly shop.

The Shell of G9 Locomotive has arrived from Dandenong, Australia to Chittaranjan Locomotive Works.

The Loco G9 being manufactured at Australia's ABB Plant at Dandenong.

The GP-140 team in the Adtranz factory, Switzerland.

WAG 9 Loco being towed in the Dandenong Plant, Australia.

WAP 5 Loco along with Loco Lok 2000 or RE 460 being tested at the ADTranz site.

GP 140 Engineer, Mr Roland De Wassiler testing G9 at Ghaziabad Depot.

 Engineers at Ghaziabad Depot. (From left, 1. Nick Slavov, 2. Laurenz Herzer)

The first lot of WAG 9 at Gomoh Shed.

GP 140 engineers at Gomoh Shed delivering special bolts for the WAG 9 locomotive cowcatchers. While they were there, they were invited to a retirement dinner for one of their old employees that had been there for many yrs. (one in white ). At the end of the table is Nick Slavov & Laurenz Herzer.

The officers and the Project Manager(GP 140, India) at Gomoh Shed.

In the official repair and maintenance manual of the WAG-9. Its in the chapter 3.05 for transformer on page 46, the person shown in the picture is Olaf Bautze, GP 140, engineer.

WAP 5 Loco being tested by IR officials at Switzerland.

The Swiss team hands over the Locomotives to IR.
 From left, 
1. Ron Bannon (ABB Australia)
2. Munnaf Mussa (Davies & Metcalfe)                   
3.Daniel Meyer (ABB Switzerland)
4.Roger Forster (ABB Switzerland)
5.Tony Glaus (ABB Switzerland)     

The Indian Team at ABB Zurich.


Indian musicians flown to Switzerland for the event.

The GP 140 Gomoh team.

WAP 5 bogie showing its fabricated bogie design and the axle box traction rod control including the lateral & longitudinal dampers to control rotation -- unfortunately the large secondary suspension springs have not been fitted at this stage !

This picture shows the overall of the loco assembly in the ABB plant which was called Tramont. The first one shows the WAP5 (maybe even the very first one), behind the loco 2000 of Swiss Railways followed by two power heads for the Zurich S-Bahn.

Roof Hatch assembly of WAP 5.

 This pic shows a WAP 5 and WAG 9 side by side during the final assembly. The WAG 9 has already the middle roof hatch installed.

This pic shows a WAP5 and WAG9 side by side during the final assembly. The WAG9 has already the middle roof hatch installed.

Mr Hans Ueli Walti, another GP 140 engineer who came to CLW during ToT. He was a software engineer and taught CLW engineers in adapting and modifying the vehicle software of WAG 9. The other person is Mr Sujeet Mishra.

Mr Hans Ueli Walti was the Software engineer during the warranty phase of the project and did also some work for Transfer of Technology.
Some works he did (together with Mr Sujeet Mishra)
- Software adaption for the passenger locomotive WAP 7 derived from WAG 9.
- Software Training for Indian Software engineers and maintenance team.
- A lot of documentation for the Software for the P7 and G9.

15 Years later, what happened to that ABB/ADTranz Factory!!!

In August 2000 Bombardier Inc. announced that it was to buy Adtranz for $711 million, considered to be a low price. The sale was cleared by the European Union in April 2001; amongst the guarantees required to be made by Bombardier was that it would divest and license its product range in the regional and tram sectors to Stadler Rail due to the large German market share of the new group in those areas, making Stadler a viable independent company.The takeover came into legal effect on 1 May 2001 with a final price of $725million. In 2002 Bombardier announced that it was to sue DaimlerChrysler for $867 million due to alleged misleading financial information regarding Adtranz provided by DaimlerChrysler during the takeover.
In September 2004 the case was settled with the companies agreeing to a $209 million reduction in price.

The present condition of the Factory
March 31st 2014.

The Tramont site is very large which still makes component parts but not locos -- the actual workshop area has been sold & now owned by the Swiss postal service !

The Tramont site was closed soon after the Indian locomotives have been finished. Now is the postal service using the building. The traverser was removed as fast as possible to avoid that the building can be rented / used by Stadler Rail. The only thing remaining is the test track at the far end of the site and the the new built Power Lab, the little building with the Bombardier letters. It is used for testing converters of new products on a R&D level. Currently they are running tests for the Twindexx double decker trains for SBB.

All tracks, which have led to the factory, have been removed in the meantime. Today is a mail distribution center of the Swiss Post in the factory.

The building with Bombardier written on it is the new Power Lab where they test traction converters and the full traction chain. The multi engine diesel loco and ALP-45 DP Locomotive were also tested here.


The story behind the first semi bullet train of our country. It was WAP 5 30013. 

(News Article about India's first Semi Bullet Train)

Its basically loco no 30008. The loco in which happened the fire incident and which later was standing for couple of years at Ghaziabad shed. Since the fire was some insurance case actually nobody was allowed to touch the loco. There was a dispute between Adtranz and IR, who was to blame for the fire and who should pay. Adtranz was blaming the shipping agency, IR blamed Adtranz...Over the years the loco became slowly (and unofficial) a spare parts bank, since many of the components were still in working condition. First have have gone the sanding pipes, then speed generators, then some components from drivers cab and so on. The fire was actually not big. It was even not a real fire. It happened during the unloading from the ship in the Kolkata harbor. The locos where placed inside of the ship in a loading bay. Some welding sparks dropped down from the upper ship deck onto the air inlets on the roof of the oil coolers. It has started smoldering and the shipping crew discharged a huge load of extinguisher powder into the machine room of the 30008. This powder itself created some chemical reaction on some of the costly electronic boards and made them defective.The loco was towed to Ghaziabad and was standing there until 2000. When finally IR had to present the first CLW-made WAP 5 and WAG 9 the loco was cannibalized to get items which got forgotten to purchase or which were not available on time (windows, doors, window frames etc.). Later on the remaining loco was brought to CLW rebuilt and introduced as 30013.


A Swiss newspaper in 1990's telling about GP 140 and it's bidders. The article is written in German.(To be translated soon)


This was taken in the year 1996. Engineers from ABB teaching technicians and engineers of IR how to overhaul a G9 at Gomoh ELS.


Extreme Right ABB Engineer - Roger Foster and the rest of the engineers from Davies and Metcalfe company.


Ghaziabad depot India, where the engineers were stationed to test these locomotives.

Being blessed by a holy man in the ABB depot office at Ghaziabad India, on arrival. (Pic: Mr Ron Bannon)

(Pic: Mr Peter Christener)

A worker striking a pose with a ABB P5.


This was taken in the year 1996 during the P5 test runs done by engineers from Switzerland and Australia. One can see the wires coming from the oscillation coach to the Loco's. The test runs were done in Tundla where it achieved a speed of more than 180km/hr.

ABB Engineer striking a pose with their creation.

The equipment's inside the oscillator coach.

The electronic equipment's and speed recording device.

Some of the engineers who was involved in the design of P5 and G9 (They never came to India).

 This man was one of the leading design engineers. He was responsible for the electrical layout and the cubicles of the P5 and G9. His name is Heinz Bolliger. He was the coach of the Swiss rifle shooter national team and was present on every Olympic Game.

     Another design engineer was Sandro Crameri

The Old ABB pics with name tag has been provided by Mr Ron Bannon (Ex ABB Service Engineer) and the latest ones by Mr Olaf Bautze (Bombardier Transportation; Zurich, Switzerland). Few of them have been also provided by Mr Peter Christener (Bombardier Transportation; Podebrady, Czech Republic). The latest ones including test runs and shed pictures have been provided by Mr Nick Slavov (ABB Transportation, Australia).
All are GP 140 Engineers.

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A Rail Enthusiast. Born and brought up in Calcutta. Have interests in rolling stock and Locomotives and their control techniques. Also love to collect information and trivia on our Indian Railway network... Have worked with ABB, Siemens, Bombardier Transportation and Larsen & Toubro as an intern. I majored in Electronics and Communications Engineering as my undergraduate degree on 2nd August 2016.