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Bombardier TRAXX3 class 187 unit 002 at Innotrans 2012, Berlin, Germany
DB Schenker class 185 number 142 is special livery, Erstfeld, Switzerland
Green Cargo Re Traxx locomotive number 1436 at Luleå, Sweden
Hector Rail Traxx in Solna
BLS Traxx at Weil am Rhein

Welcome to the Bombardier TRAXX platform theme page of We are always expanding the of information on the type so many times when you come here you should find something new.

The TRAXX locomotives of Bombardier are economically the most successful locomotive types produced in Europe ever. The success is built on the modularization, reliability, flexibility and manufacturer Bombardier's ability to keep customers satisfied. The common components are used so widely that even the electric and diesel version of the locomotives share many parts. Each locomotive can also be upgraded for new requirements simply by adding or removing "packages". The specifications alter from one European country to another, and in the open access environment the use of a typical locomotive will most likely be varied a lot within its long lifespan.  
There are currently over 2000 TRAXX locomotives in use and several hundred more in order. Every day at least one more locomotive will be added to the existing or new fleets from the factories in Kassel, Germany or Vado Ligure, Italy. Bombardier as a major manufacturer also has other product lines, which we will study more closely later. These include many of the giant locomotives in use in Europe, China and U.S.

Traxx locomotives history - Prototype Lab Locomotive...
   First Production Pre-TRAXX Models...

 info TRAXX?
The TRAXX naming originates to Bombardier naming competition 10 years ago in 2003. The company arranged an internal competition to find a family name for the new German class 185 locomotives, since these locomotives were to be sold European wide. The winning name of many candidates came from Latin word "trahere" for moving. A little wordplay and the form comes to "I have moved" > "traxi". The origins of the second x are unclear. The word supposed to be written with capital letters to be better visible.

   TRAXX 1 Production models...


   TRAXX 2 Locomotives...
   TRAXX 3 Locomotives...

   TRAXX unit pictures...

   TRAXXes at the heart of Europe in Switzerland...

   NON TRAXX but looks like it...

Upcoming articles:
Market situation in Europe for TRAXXes
TRAXX 2 Locomotives
Further developments
Non TRAXX Products
What comes next?



Older version of the page...


/// Refurbishing continuing down from here

Traxx 2 series * Technical info for types: Traxx coding system *  F140 AC1,  F140 AC2 * Common components for Traxx

Created for by Ilkka Siissalo and John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo, Peider SwissTrip, Hannu Peltola and John McKey.

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BLS brand new class 486 loco number 503 with mixed freight in Effingen, SwitzerlandBombardier
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NSB Bm74 number 503 and SBB class 522 number 202 in Rorschach, Switzerland
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  Traxx Locomotives History - Prototype Lab Loco
Bombardier German class 128 prototype

The TRAXX locomotive history starts with the German Class 128 prototype (128 001), which served as a test bed for various equipment. It was manufactured by German company AEG in 1994 as 12X. The new innovations included new carbody parts, running gear, water cooled MPC converters in IGBT technology as used later on the class 185.2 and numerous other detailed parts. Every detail for the locomotive was carefully studied. Since locos most of the time are evolution products instead of being something quite new and revolutionary, the prototype shows features of both its predecessors as well as some design features of the upcoming TRAXX product line.

  Picture above of the prototype in Kassel by Peter Christener.

  In the picture below the same locomotive in its much later storage in Oerlikon, Switzerland. Picture by Peider Swisstrip.

    Lowest below a German DB class 120 multipurpose locomotive, which was the starting class for the design of the 128. First looks can be deceiving, but once you start looking from one component to another, you notice the differences clearly. Every detail has been carefully gone through to form the class 128 prototype. Picture of the class 120 unit in Köln, Germany by Ilkka Siissalo.

Bombardier class 128 for testing, Oerlikon, Zürich. Switzerland
DB Class 120 number 125 loco in Köln, Germany

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  TRAXX Locomotives History - First Production Units
DB class 146 number 023 in Köln, Germany

The background for TRAXX series of locomotives lied in the need to cut costs where it was possible. Before the TRAXX was introduced there was a long lived thinking of manufacturing universal locomotives, units that could be used for any purpose railroads could offer. Examples of the thinking are the German class 120 (above picture), Swiss LOK2000 program variants Re460, Re465, El18 and Sr2, and the Siemens ES64U2 Taurus locomotives. These universal use locos included high power for high speed use, high speed of the two was in many cases not at all needed, or the cost to enable this feature was not justifiable for other uses.

At the same time all the railroads in Europe found themselves in the situation with opening borders, which lead for the need of flexible but cheaper designs. With a successful locomotive, many operators might eventually end up buying the same models, as happened later with the TRAXX and some other manufactured loco types. So Bombardier was at the right time in the right place and has been exploiting this market opening with cheaper standardized designs ever since.

The name TRAXX was first introduced after the Bombardier board meeting in 2003. Tra-beginning derives from Latin meaning moving.

First steps
The Pre TRAXX series for Bombardier include classes 145 and 146.
The Class 145 is a light freight locomotive with ester cooled GTO converters, nose suspended drives, capacity to combine the power of several locomotives and train power supply.

Class 146 is relatively similar to 145, but equipped with fully suspended drive and geared for 160 km/h (99 mph) instead of the normal 140 km/h (87 mph). Many of the class 146 units are today used for pulling local and regional passenger trains for the operator Deutsche Bahn / DB Regio. This works requires fast acceleration / deceleration capacity as well as ability to feed the electricity back to networks.

Class first serie 146.0 unit 023 of DB Regio is sitting with local double deck coaches at Köln, Germany. Notice the similar roof line to class 145 locomotives. Picture from Bremen by Ilkka Siissalo.

Class 146.1 unit 131 of DB at its most usual task: pulling double decked local / regional train. Here the roof line and air intake grilles have gone through a modification round. Differences to the TRAXX pre series 146.0 are well viosible. Picture from Bremen by Ilkka Siissalo.

DB class 146.1 loco at Bremen Hauptbahnhof, Germany

Picture of the Deutsche Bahn class 146.1 at Weil am Rhein. The TRAXX 1 loco is serving the regional train even here, next crossing the border to Basel, Switzerland. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

Here a Deutsche Bahn Railion (older freight brand for DB) logoed class 145 unit is starting from the locomotive depot for the next task in front of one of the freight trains from Maschen, Germany. Many similarities to later evolution versions are already visible. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.


Technical details for DB class 146 as an example of the Pre TRAXX
-> Type: Pre TRAXX / class 146.0 > 146.1 and 146.2
-> Builder: Bombardier Transportation / Adtranz (predecessor)
-> Operators:
Deutsche Bahn, DB Regio, Metronom 
-> Usage: general purpose local passenger locomotive (basically there is no obstacle for using this in freight use too)

-> Production dates: 1997 - 2002 
-> Numbers built for the operator: >110 for the DB alone 

-> Seen: regional passenger services in Germany
-> Energy Source: overhead electricity, 15kV 16,66 Hz AC
-> Power output: 4200 kW (5630 Hp), 4 x 1050 KW
-> Track motors:  
-> Tractive Effort: 300 kN start
-> Braking effort on traction motors (dynamic braking): available    

-> Wheel arrangement: Bo'Bo'   
-> Wheel diameter: mm
-> Maximum operational speed: 160 km/h (100 mph) 

-> Gauge: 1435 mm
-> Length: 18,90 m 
-> height: 4,38 m
-> Width: 2,98 m
-> Weight: 80 / 82 metric tons (164'000 lb)
-> Max. axel weight: 20,5 metric tons  

-> Train control systems: Germany, PZB, LZB
-> Multiple operations capacity with:
-> Couplers: Hook and chain    

-> Specials:  
-- 3 separate series with some design differences (some not showing to outside)




TRAXX 146.026 is seen here in Düsseldorf in front of a typical double decked Bombardier built train. The picture shows well the curves of the early TRAXX design. The design in the later models is vertical from nose tip down. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

One of the important users for TRAXX 1 classified to German class ME 146 is Metronom. 10 units run around Hannover and Metronom also now has 17 units of the class 146.2. In the picture last of the first batch. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

DB class 145 number 052 in Maschen, Germany
DB class 145 number 052 in Maschen, Germany
DB class 146 number 026 in Düsseldorf, Germany Metronom class 146

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  Traxx 1 Series Locomotives
Rail4Chem TRAXX locomotive class 185 number 533 at Effingen, Switzerland

The TRAXX 1 series was to become a huge success story for its manufacturer Bombardier.

These locomotives were already sold to most Central European countries:
- in Germany DB bought 200 class 185 locomotives (TRAXX F140 AC1)
- DB Regio (regional traffic bought another batch of 32 TRAXX 1s
registered to class 146.1 (TRAXX P160 AC1)
- Swiss BLS acquired 20 Swiss class Re485 TRAXX F140 AC1s
- while Swiss SBB ordered 35 class Re482 TRAXX F140 AC1s

- CFL Cargo got 20 new TRAXX1's under Luxemburg classification 4000. These were of TRAXX P140 AC1
- MRCE rail leasing company bought 11 TRAXX F140 AC1s registered to German class 185.
- Competing leasing company Algel Trains (now Alpha trains) bought 34 units of similar locomotives.

- In Germany Rail4Chem acquired 8 typical TRAXX F140 AC1 locomotives taht alos joined German class 185.



These units are similar to class 145, but with additional 25 kV equipment and optional additional pantographs for operations in Switzerland. The roof is lowered in the pantograph area to accommodate the pantographs fit for 25 kV operation.

Note the still existing pointed nose of the locomotive, the newer version hood being vertical on the lower half. Also the nose door does not exist yet on these units.


Bombardier Traxx 1 Series Codes

F140 AC1: German class 185, some Swiss Class 482 (picture above) and Swiss class 485 for the BLS (picture below).
Nose suspended drive fit for 140 kph.

P160 AC1: German class 146.1. 
Fully suspended drive and gear for 160 kph

DB Schenker class 185 number 142 is special livery, Erstfeld, Switzerland

ChemOil (SBB Cargo) TRAXX in service in Bellinzona, Switzerland

Technical details for Swiss class 485 as an example of the Traxx 1
-> Type: Traxx 1 , Traxx F140 AC1
-> Builder: Bombardier Transportation 
-> Operator:
BLS, BLS    
-> Usage: general purpose freight locomotive 

-> Production dates: 2002 - 2004  
-> Numbers built for the operator: 20  
-> Seen: international rail freight in cooperation with DB Schenker of Germany   
-> Energy Source: electricity, 25 kV 50 Hz and 15kV 16,66 Hz AC
-> Power output: 5600 kW (7614 Hp), 4 x 1400 KW
-> Track motors: BT xxx 
-> Tractive Effort: 300 kN 
-> Braking effort on traction motors (dynamic braking): 240 kN   
-> Wheel arrangement: Bo'Bo'   
-> Wheel diameter: 1250 mm
-> Maximum operational speed: 140 km/h (87 mph) 
-> Gauge: 1435 mm
-> Length: 18,90 m 
-> height: 3,85 m
-> Width: 2,98 m
-> Weight: 84 metric tons (,000 lb)
-> Max. axel weight: 21 metric tons  
-> Train control systems: for Switzerland, Germany, Austria
-> Multiple operations capacity with: 482, 485, 486 and German class 185
-> Couplers: Hook and chain    
-> Specials:  
     - locomotives operate in pools with the DB Schenker units

The ChemOil painted Re 482, with a power output of 5'600 kW / 7'600 PS, operates now many trains on the Gotthard route. For revision work they are brought to SBB Maintenance shop in Bellinzona, where this ChemOil Logistics AG 482 028 unit was seen. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.

The SBB Cargo Re 482 were delivered in two batches: 2002 - 2003 of class TRAXX F140 AC1 became Re 482 000–034 with 482 018 in picture. AC2 unit joined these later in 2006. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.
SBB Cargo Re 482 number 018 in Arth Goldau, Switzerland  

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  Traxx 2 Series Locomotives
BLS brand new class 486 loco number 503 with mixed freight in Effingen, Switzerland

TRAXX 2 series followed in 2004 the successfull first series. Here the models were of variants AC for electric and MS for diesel initially, but the DC variant was added already in 2006. All of these models have been immensely popular among operators and Bombardier production lines are assembling tens of units at Kassel, Germany and Italy even now.

Railpool class 186 locos at Erstfeld, Switzerland


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Veolia colored class 484 TRAXX at Bellinzona, Switzerland

Bombardier TRAXX3 class 187 unit 002 at Innotrans 2012, Berlin, Germany


Traxx Unit Pictures

BLS * Deutsche Bahn DB * DB Schenker * Green Cargo * SBB *


  BLS Traxx class 485 number 005

A BLS Traxx class 485 is approaching and passing Weil am Rhein in southern Germany. Behind is a formidable line of truck on flat cars and a passenger coach for the drivers.

The easiest recognition for the Traxx 1 unit is at the nose, where the area under the lamps turns backwards, creating a pointed nose for the unit.

Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.


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  BLS Traxx class 485 number 012 meet in Freiburg, Germany
Where the BLS intermodals meet..., Switzerland

Above a BLS TRAXX loco of Swiss class 485 number 012 hauled intermodal meets another behind the yellow flowering fields growing margarine. Hauling trucks on train is a common method for cutting the road congestion and minimizing the pollution in Switzerland.

Below another view to the same train.

Pictures by Peider SwissTrip.

Where the BLS intermodals meet..., Switzerland

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Deutsche Bahn

  DB Traxx class 146 number 116

A DB pre Traxx unit class 146 number 116 stops at Weil am Rhein with a local double decker.

Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.



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DB Schenker

  DB Schenker Traxx class 185 number 142
DB Schenker class 185 number 142 is special livery, Erstfeld, Switzerland

A DB Schenker Railion colored special livery Traxx 185 (a German class) locomotive number 142 seen at Erstfeld.

Picture by Peider SwissTrip.



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Green Cargo class Re

  Green Cargo Traxx AC2 class Re numbers 1426 and 1436
Green Cargo Re Traxx locomotives in Luleå, Sweden

The Green Cargo class Re TRAXX locomotives numbers 1426 and 1426 are waiting for the next assignment at the Luleå, Sweden locomotive service for the operator.

Pictures by John McKey.


Green Cargo Re Traxx locomotive number 1436 at Luleå, Sweden Green Cargo Re Traxx locomotives in Luleå, Sweden

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  SBB Traxx class 482 number 008

An SBB is slowing fro a pass of Weil am Rhein with a heavy mixed freight.

Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.



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© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2013   -   Created 8.3.2009 John McKey, Ilkka Siissalo, Refurbished 7.9.2011 John McKey, Updated 14.3.2013