Alstom Az8a locomotive

Alstom delivers first freight locomotive to Azerbaijan

Alstom delivered the first of the forty Prima T8 “AZ8A” freight locomotives that will run on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars regional railway link to Azerbaijan Railways (ADY). The locomotive, produced at EKZ JV in Kazakhstan, arrived to Bilajary, Azerbaijan after being shipped from Astana on 7 December. Alstom will now conduct validation tests on the Azerbaijani railways infrastructure during a few months.

“We are delighted to continue being a strategic partner of ADY and to deliver the first freight locomotive to Azerbaijan that will help satisfy the increasing need for freight transportation in the country”, said Bernard Peille, Alstom Managing Director for Western and Central Asia.

T8 AZ8A locomotive

The AZ8A is a Prima T8 heavy freight locomotive developed for Azerbaijan. It is based on the KZ8A locomotives currently in service in Kazakhstan and ADY’s specific technical requirements and is compliant with GOST standards and specifications. To date, more than 3,000 Prima locomotives (more than 4,200 sections) sold worldwide since 90s.

With its eight axles, Prima T8 is one of the most powerful electric locomotives in the world. This model is a two-section freight locomotive capable of towing up to 9,000 tons and running at 120 km/h, with installed continuous power of 8.8 Megawatts. The AZ8A is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -25°C to 50°C. It requires minimum maintenance and provides high reliability levels and low lifecycle costs thanks to its modular design.

Joint venture

EKZ, a joint venture between Alstom and Transmashholding (TMH), employs 440 people and is working on supplying and maintaining the Prima electric locomotives ordered by KTZ, Kazakhstan’s national railway company and also export markets, like Azerbaijan. Today, 50 KZ8A freight locomotives and 20 KZ4AT passenger locomotives are already in commercial operation on Kazakhstan’s rail lines.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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