Prima (locomotive)

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Alstom Prima II on display at InnoTrans 2014 in Berlin

Prima is a family of railway diesel and electric locomotives built by Alstom. Manufacturing began in the late 1990s, and by 2008 Alstom had sold 1750 Prima locomotives. The second generation Prima II was launched in 2009.[1]

First generation[edit]

SNCF BB 27308 locomotive, a variant of the first generation Prima model
Electric locomotives
Diesel locomotives

Second generation[edit]

ONCFM E 1400 locomotive, a variant of the second generation Prima model

On 20 May 2008 Alstom announced details of a second generation of Prima locomotives, named "Prima II".[2] The prototype was unveiled on 3 June 2009 at Alstom's Belfort plant.[1][3]

The locomotives are designed to be modular and reconfigurable to customers requirements throughout their lifetimes. Electric versions can work with up to four different overhead line voltages; 1.5 and 3 kV DC, and 15 and 25 kV AC, with power ratings of up to 6.4 MW (8,600 hp),[4] and operating speeds of 140 to 200 km/h (87 to 124 mph).[1][3][5] The design also allows for broader gauge versions with Russia, and India as well as Finland being seen by Alstom as potential markets.[6] A diesel version is also planned in the long term.[6]

Compatibility with the ERTMS signalling system for European cross border operations is also a feature.[7]

Six axle freight CoCo versions are also proposed, with an increase in power output to 9.6 MW (12,900 hp) and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph)[6][7]

The first order for the second generation Prima II came from Morocco's national railway ONCFM, with an order in November 2007 for twenty electric locomotives. These are due to be delivered in the second half of 2009 for entry into passenger and freight service in 2010.[2] The Moroccan locomotives are to be initially delivered for 3 kV DC operation, with the potential to install a transformer and other electrical equipment for 25 kV AC operation at a later date when Moroccan electrification upgrade schemes take place.[6]

In November 2015 Alstom received a Letter of Award from the Ministry of Indian Railways to supply Indian Railways with 800 double section freight electric locomotives with associated long-term maintenance. The total contract is worth above €3 billion. The Prima locomotive for Indian Railways will be 9,000 kW at the wheel rim and will run at a speed up to 120 km/h. [8]


Prima II


  1. ^ a b c "Prima II prototype rolled out by Alstom". Railway Gazette International. 2009-06-03. 
  2. ^ a b "Prima II design unveiled by Alstom". Railway Gazette International. 2008-05-23. 
  3. ^ a b Alstom unveils the Prima II prototype, its new generation locomotive 3/6/2009
  4. ^ Between 4.2 and 6.4 MW (5,600 and 8,600 hp) for 4 axle version depending on supply voltage
  5. ^ 140 km/h (87 mph) for freight,200 km/h (120 mph) for passenger version - a change of bogies is required for conversion between passenger and freight versions Press release poster image
  6. ^ a b c d Prima goes modular to tap new markets 10/7/2008 Laurent Charlier
  7. ^ a b Prima II 'Borderless Efficiency' press release technical sheet.
  8. ^

Further information[edit]