Main > Switzerland / Visions > TRAXX Operations in Switzerland


TRAXX Operations in Switzerland
By Peider SwissTrip

AEG and ABB-Henschel are the two major companies that lay the basis for all modern locomotive products produced by Bombardier. In the nineties they bundled their competences under the direction of Daimler and formed Adtranz. Later on Daimler sold Adtranz to Bombardier from Canada, giving it the current name. AEG had developed the 12X prototype to show its future vision on modern electric locomotives. The 12X can be seen as the predecessor of the German 145 series, the basis for the Traxx platform, and was outshopped 30.06.1994. 12X had the German 128 classification with unit 001 number.

Bombardier class 128 for testing, Oerlikon, Zürich. Switzerland Browsing on Google map the tracks around Zurich, I found in the backyard of an industry at Oerlikon an unfamiliar locomotive. Checking out, a big surprise was waiting! The 12X 128 001 was stored for several years on a track near the Bombardier electronic laboratory. In July 2010 it was brought back to Henningsdorf/Germany, the place where it was produced. The 12X has a remarkable speed of 220 km/h (137 Mph) and develops 6'400 kW. It runs under 15 kV 16,7 Hz AC systems only.



   Train Recognition Guide
   Super High Speed Main



    Railroad Structures
    Steam and Smoke

    Winter Visions by H.P.
    Winter Visions by S.V.

   European Countries
    Finnish Vintage Vr1 / L1
    Russian RR Visions
    Swedish Malmbana
  > Swiss TRAXX Operations

   North American Visions

    North America
    North America by G.P.











To the top of the page


  Bombardier TRAXX family

TRAXX is a modular product platform of electric and diesel-electric mainline locomotives built by Bombardier Transportation, built in both freight and passenger variants. The first version was a dual voltage AC locomotive built from 2000 for German railways. Later versions include DC versions, as well as quadruple voltage machines, able to operate on European electrification schemes as 1.5/3.0 kV DC and 15/25 kV AC. The TRAXX brand name itself was introduced in 2003. The acronym stands for Transnational Railway Applications with eXtreme fleXibility.

For the source of this Vision report have been used information for example on mentioned Companies and Rail Operators, and Wikipedia sources.


TRAXX Operations in Switzerland created for by Peider SwissTrip. Pictures by Peider SwissTrip and Ilkka Siissalo.

Mozilla Firefox


Mozilla Firefox  
To the top of the page

  General information on TRAXX operation in Switzerland

The actual TRAXX operation in Switzerland takes place almost exclusively on transit traffic between Basle and Chiasso (Gotthard route) and between Basle and Domodossola (Lötschberg – Simplon route). The main depots and locations, where you can find TRAXX units are Muttenz yard in Basle (and all companies mentioned in this report), Erstfeld with DB Schenker Rail BR 185 hub, Bellinzona with the take over point of SBB Re 484 and 482 depot, Chiasso with Re 484 depot as well as NordCargo E 483, Spiez with BLS 485/486 depot and Domodossola/Italy, as connection station to Italian operators. Other spots with small TRAXX traffic are the Lake Constance area in eastern Switzerland as well the container terminal at Niederglatt near Zurich, both destination served from Germany.

Lokoop Traxx locomotive in Eutzlingen
One of the first Swiss TRAXX operator was MThB - Mittelthurgaubahn AG, which operated 2000 till 2002 altogether 6 TRAXX F140 AC, which were the only class 145 operating in Switzerland. After business failure, SBB took them over, but never operated them in Switzerland. Until they were sold in 2005 to MRCE leasing company they were used with SBB Cargo as Re 481 in Germany. Picture in Kreuzlingen 2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Crossrail, SBB Cargo and Captrain TRAXXes in Muttenz, Switzerland
28.2.2009 Muttenz/Basel: At the yard of Muttenz, three freight trains are waiting for clearance to proceed towards Italy over the Gotthard route. From left to right: TRAXX F140 AC2 - 185 580 of Crossrail/Switzerland, SBB TRAXX F140 AC1 - 482 025, the black MRCE - Mitsui Rail Capital Europe BV owned TRAXX F140 AC2 - 185 563, leased by German rail4chem Eisenbahnverkehrsgesellschaft mbH (part of Captrain) and behind the TRAXX F140 AC1 - 185 541 of Hannover Mobilien Leasing GmbH/Germany, hired by rail4chem in the European Bulls livery, an alliance of seven European rail freight companies. Note: The AC2 version got in 2005 a new, flat body front, with crash optimized lower front part. The AC1 class (see SBB unit) has the old, typical inward formed lower body front. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.

SBB Cargo TRAXX and Eurosprinter ES64F4 in Chiasso, Switzerland
26.5.2009 Chiasso: Bombardier TRAXX - 484 011 side by side with Siemens ES64F4 - 474 012. Both companies developed in 2002/2003 multi systems engines for an integrated European freight market and are today still the main competitors for supplying it. SBB Cargo Italia operates 21 class 484 (and leased 2007 – 2011 another three units from MRCE) along with 18 class 474 units ordered for its Italian market operation. Both SBB Cargo Italia classes have the E-SR registration according to Italian regulations. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.

Railpool class 186 locos at Erstfeld, Switzerland
6.7.2009 Erstfeld: A loco train on the way back to their owners with three Railpool and two Angel Train E 186 after overhaul and repainting work at SBB depot in Bellinzona. Those TRAXX engines operate normally outside Switzerland. Last unit shown is a Railpool 186 107.

Three different TRAXX units at Bellinzona 2009
9.7.2009 Bellinzona: At Bellinzona (south side of Gotthard) SBB Cargo changes their German/Swiss homologated TRAXX Re 482 units, under 15/25 kV AC working (as well as older class Re 4/4-Re 6/6) for the TRAXX Re 484 with Italian accreditation and 15/25kV AC + 1,5/3kV DC power system. The Re 484 takes over the freight trains for distribution to northern Italian customers. On the left is 484 105, leased from MRCE to SBB Cargo, middle is rail4chem (Captrain) 185 571 and right SBB 484 013 having together a break from work at Bellinzona yard.

SBB 482 cockpit view, Switzerland
19.9.2009 Bellinzona: The SBB Re 482 drivers control panel with four flat screen displays.

To the top of the page


  SBB Cargo Re 482 operation

SBB Cargo Re 482 number 018 in Arth Goldau, Switzerland
29.4.2007 Arth-Goldau: The Re 482 were delivered in two batches: 2002 - 2003 of class TRAXX F140 AC1 became Re 482 000–034 with 482 018 in picture. Another 15 units of the newer generation TRAXX F140 AC2 went into operation 2006.

DLC TRAXX Re 482 in SBB Cargo colors, Muttenz, Switzerland
23.4.2007 Muttenz: Re 482 008, delivered 2002 to SBB Cargo, was rented to DLC - Dillen & Le Jeune Cargo N.V., Belgium, later to HGK - Häfen and Güterverkehr Köln AG and to MWB - Mittelweserbahn GmbH, Bruchhausen-Vilsen, both German operators.

SBB Cargo Re 482 number 018 in Hendschiken, Switzerland
28.8.2008 Hendschiken: The SBB Cargo Re 482, as other class 185 units, have four pantographs: On both outer position are the smaller Swiss/French type, 1450 mm, and in inner position are the wider, 1950 mm, German/Austrian pantographs. The Re 482 014 operates an intermodal train towards Arth-Goldau, where a Re 4/4-Re 6/6 will take it for the Gotthard route.

SBB Cargo Re 482 number 045 in Muttenz, Switzerland
17.1.2009 Muttenz: Re 482 045 has a "looking for loco drivers" advertisement on her side on the way to the German destination.

ChemOil (SBB Cargo) TRAXX in service in Bellinzona, Switzerland
19.9.2009 Bellinzona: The 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.

SBB Cargo Re 482 number 000 in Steinen, Switzerland
20.3.2011 Steinen: Most of the Re 482 operates within SBB Cargo German operation, also leased to other operators, and in the Germany – Switzerland traffic. Basle is the main hub, where they give over their trains to Re 4/4-Re 6/6 for transit to Italy or for local distribution.

Mozilla Firefox  
To the top of the page

  SBB Cargo Re 484 operation

MRCE TRAXX class 484 in Chiasso, Switzerland
14.5.2009 Chiasso: Still in MRCE owners colour, this E 484 103 operated as one of three leased units for SBB Cargo Italia until 2011 and is leased now to ISC - INTERPORTO Servizi Cargo S.P.A, Italy. Those three leased units covered the downtime of SBB 484 in modification work for Italian train safety systems.

SBB Cargo class 484 "Gottardo" in Bellizona, Switzerland
25.6.2009 Bellinzona: 2003 SBB ordered 18 class TRAXX F140 MS (15 kV and 25 kV AC; 1,5 kV and 3 kV DC) units for its SBB Cargo Italy subsidiary, which became the designation Re 484. As they have no German or French safety system, their operation remains to Italy. With special celebrity logo of 2007 decorated (125 years of Gotthard train services), the only named class Re 484 (021 Gottardo) arrives from Italy and will give over the freight load at Bellinzona yard to a Re 4/4-Re 6/6 for proceeding to Basel.

SBB Cargo class 484 in Bellizona, Switzerland

25.6.2009 Bellinzona: The Re 484 014 arrives with a special replacement coach train from Milan at Bellinzona, because the ETR 470 wasn't operable. Re 484 013 – 018 were used between 12.9.2005 until 8.12.2007 by SBB passenger division for their subsidiary Cisalpino Ltd services on the Simplon route to Italy in dedicate Cisalpino liveries.

SBB Cargo class 484 number 021 in Steinen, Switzerland
11.9.2011: Due to never ending technical problems with the ETR 470 Pendolino, the SBB passenger division decided 2011, to switch some train relations Zurich - Milan regularly to standard Eurocity coach trains. For those operations it rented SBB Cargo Re 484 020.

Mozilla Firefox  
To the top of the page

  BLS Cargo Re 485 Operations

BLS German class 186 loco number 535 with intermodal train at Sissach, Switzerland
26.4.2007 Sissach: BLS Cargo rented altogether seven different class 185 units from ATC - Angel Trains Cargo NV/SA, Belgium. The 185 535 was between 2006 and 2009 in BLS operation.

BLS Cargo class 485 loco number 014 with 3 DB sisters in Bellinzona, Switzerland
14.5.2009 Bellinzona: As DB Germany is with 45% a major shareholder in BLS Cargo, they operate together the Gotthard services. Here the Re 485 014 leads three BR 185 of DB Schenker Rail towards the Swiss – Italian border station of Chiasso. There the DB Schenker Italian subsidiary NordCargo takes the train for bringing them to final destination in Italy. BLS Cargo has now 20 Re 485 in the fleet.

31.10.2009 Münsingen: Re 485 013 and another 485 unit, coming from Simplon – Lötschberg route, are lowering their pantographs at full speed to pass the section point of two electricity supply systems. If this is not done and the two Re 485 are in two different supply sides, a short circuit would destroy the catenary as well as the locomotive systems and disrupt electronic software.

9.4.2011 Freiburg im Breisgau: Between Freiburg im Breisgau/Germany and Novarra/Italy through Lötschberg – Simplon tunnels, BLS Cargo has a contract till 2018 to operate the "rolling higway" service for trucks. In picture, the Re 485 012 short of its terminal destination at Freiburg im Breisgau. As the Re 485 cannot operate to Italy, at Domodossola a BLS Re 486 takes over.

To the top of the page

  BLS Cargo Re 486 Operations

BLS brand new class 486 loco number 503 with mixed freight in Effingen, Switzerland
10.6.2010 Effingen: For the first time, 2009 the BLS Cargo Re 486 - TRAXX F140 MS operated into Italian rail network. BLS Cargo gave its 10 units of class 486 a special "the mountain climber" livery, as shown here on 486 502.

BLS class 486 loco number 508 with intermodal freight in Immensee, Switzerland
12.3.2011 Immensee: Re 486 508 with an intermodal train from Basel towards the Gotthard route and on to Italy without change of engine. It has together with DB Schenker Rail a market share of about 30% on this route to Italy.

To the top of the page

  DB Schenker Class 185 Operations

26.5.2009 Erstfeld: With the locomotive depot at Haltingen across the border at Basle the DB Schenker Rail operates a Gotthard BR 185 locomotive hub together with BLS at Erstfeld. At one time two to six TRAXX F140 AC1 class 185 are parked and providing a unit as enforcement to an arriving train in head position or with heavy loads as pusher unit at the back of the train as well as backup services in case of engine troubles.

Deutsche Bahn class 185 loco number 098 with freight in Bellinzona, Switzerland
25.6.2009 Bellinzona: In the middle of 2009 recession the intermodal train with DB 185 098 in old company name DB Railion Cargo livery with a rather short consist !

Deutsche Bahn class 185 loco number 115 with boxed freight in Lavorgo, Switzerland
15.7.2009 Lavorgo: DB Cargo 185 115 came to a unscheduled stop at Gotthard Lavorgo station with a technical problem. The front pantograph extended without command. After shutting down all systems and reloading the software, 45 minutes later the train could proceed to its destination of Chiasso.

Deutsche Bahn class 185 loco number 141 withfreight curves in Wassen, Switzerland
17.4.2010 Wassen: DB 185 142 and behind 052 approaching the Gotthard double horseshoe ramp at Wassen with an intermodal train to Italy.

Deutsche Bahn class 185 special livery loco number 142 vacant in Erstfeld, Switzerland
17.4.2010 Erstfeld: DB 185 142 has a special Railion Swiss decoration as livery telling in three Swiss languages "on route in Switzerland", what pleases maybe SBB not so much. In the meantime the old Railion logo is replaced by the DB sign after getting a revision at Magdeburg Rothensee/Germany in march 2011. Since then it was operated mainly in eastern Germany Leipzig area.

Deutsche Bahn TRAXX locos in Oberrüti, Switzerland
14.11.2010 Chrejenbühl: DB 185 123 in the lead of another 3 BR 185 with a steel train from Italy to Germany on the line between Rotkreuz and Bremgarten. The second double is on reallocation from Chiasso to Basle and is not used as power supplement.

DB class 186 095 with OeBB RBe 2/4 in Erstfeld, Switzerland
11.9.11 out of Erstfeld: DB TRAXX units also provide special local services as shown here with 185 095, where the Red Arrow RBe 2/4 of Oensingen Balsthal Bahn is pulled empty over the Gotthard route. The BR 185 has the operational allowance up to a level of 1200 m, just enough to master the highest point in Gotthard tunnel of 1151 m.

To the top of the page

  Crossrail TRAXX Operations

Crossrail TRAXX locomotive class 185 number 578 at Muttenz, Switzerland
13.1.2009 Muttenz: Crossrail ordered 2006 a first batch of four TRAXX F140 AC2 BoBo- 185.2 units. Half a year later the first units were delivered. Here, the 185 "double pack" with 185 578 in front is waiting for a later assignment of freight from Germany to bring it to the south side of the Swiss Alps.

Crossrail operated MRCE TRAXX locomotive class 484 at Muttenz, Switzerland
13.1.2009 Muttenz: Re 484 901 was leased from MRCE between 2006 and 2009 to Swiss operator Crossrail.

Crossrail TRAXX locomotive class 186 number 901 at Muttenz, Switzerland
23.9.2009 Muttenz: The second Swiss operator of Switzerland, here with 186 901, is Crossrail with a fleet of over 40 TRAXX units of BR 185 (operation Germany and Switzerland) and BR 186 (operation Switzerland and Italy) it is heavenly involved in transit traffic from German, Dutch and Belgium harbours to Italy.

Crossrail TRAXX locomotive class 185 number 602 at Muttenz, Switzerland
23.9.2009 Muttenz: The TRAXX F140 AC2 - 185 602 is the last of a 12 unit batch, which was ordered 2007 by BTMU
Capital Corporation, Boston/USA, and delivered to Crossrail one year later.

9.10.2010 Erstfeld: 186 906 was delivered to CBRail s.à.r.l., Luxembourg in 2008 and leased to Crossrail thereafter.

Crossrail TRAXX locomotive class 185 number 582 at Oberrüti, Switzerland
14.11.2010 Oberrüti: The Dutch Ewals Cargo Care is a Global Logistics Service Provider and took over 2007 the intermodal activities between Duisburg and Domodossola from the Crossrail Group. Here the Crossrail TRAXX
F140 AC2 - 185 581 with Ewals Cargo stickers, named "Celine Alia", on the way to Italy.

Crossrail TRAXX locomotive class 185 number 580 and Re 4xx at Steinen, Switzerland
6.2.2011 Steinen: The TRAXX F140 AC2 – 185 580, delivered to CBRail s.à.r.l., Luxembourg and leased by Crossrail, in
the lead of Re 4/4 436 111 (ex EBT/RM) running towards the south to pick up a freight train in Chiasso at
the Swiss - Italian border.

Crossrail Class 185 number 596 Traxx  in Freiburg im Breisgau, Southern Germany
9.4.2011 Freiburg in Breisgau: The first, fresh painted BR 185 596 of Crossrail TRAXX, in new cooperate colours on the way from Germany to Basle/Switzerland.

Mozilla Firefox  
To the top of the page

  Miscellaneous Swiss TRAXX Operations

RTS TRAXX locomotive class 185 unit 574 at Immensee, Switzerland
10.7.2008 immensee: RTS Rail Traction Services is a Swiss “fallen flag”, hoping to get a share in the North-South traffic too. Business was overtaken by BLS Cargo and the 185 574 went back to its lessor MRCE.

Rail4Chem TRAXX locomotive class 185 number 549 at Buchs, Switzerland
26.4.2009 Buchs: During a short period of operation of Veolia Cargo SAS, Nanterre/France, to connect east – west
traffic with OBB Austrian Federal Railways, this rail4chem BR 185 549 found its way to eastern Swiss
border station to Austria. Rail4chem belonged at this time to Veolia Group which became later SNCF
Captrain Europe.

Railpool TRAXX locomotive class 186 at Bellinzona, Switzerland
25.6.2009 Bellinzona: Railpool 186 107 not yet finished labelled after refurbishing and painting work at SBB depot at

25.6.2009 Bellinzona: E 484 902 in Veolia Cargo Italia S.r.l. operation coming down the south ramp of Gotthard. Veolia
Cargo Italia is now part of French SNCF Captrain group.

6.7.2009 Erstfeld: A rather rare view in Switzerland, the E 186 110 registered 91 80 6186 110-3 D-BTK on the head of a
five E 186 consist. They where overhauled and repainted at SBB depot Bellinzona and on the way
back to their owners.

Rail4Chem TRAXX locomotive class 185 number 533 at Effingen, Switzerland
9.6.2010 Effingen: BR 185 533 back from a TX Logistik AG assignment. TXL operates usually with Siemens ES 64 F4 and ES 64 U2 engines through Switzerland to connect its German to Italy service with Trenitalia, the 100%
owner of TXL.

12.3.2011 Rotkreuz: ScandFibre Logistics AB of Sweden introduced a new „Rail 11“ supply chain concept to deliver its
paper to central European customers and to Italy. In a six year contract, beginning 2011, are Green
Cargo, Hector Rail, Captrain und Transwaggon involved. SNCF owned Captrain decided to have an
interchange point at Rotkreuz, Switzerland, where crews and the German homologated BR 185 give
over to E 484 for operating the Swiss/Italian leg down to Modena. Captrains E 484 902 and 901 with
still visible Veolia Italia insignias are waiting for the next assignment, which runs 7 times a week.


Mozilla Firefox  
To the top of the page

  TRAXX Accidents in Switzerland

Brig 28 th January 2010, 2.40 am: The Re 436 113 of Crossrail (former SBB Re 4/4) crashed Jan. 28th, 2010 at Brig station just outside Simplon tunnel together with the Crossrail 185 596-4, which was behind the Re 436 (coming from Italy with a 1280 t freight load) head on at low speed of 5 km/h with BLS Cargo Re 485 002-0 (a freight train going to Italy with 790 t on the hook and approaching Simplon tunnel with 30 km/h). The 1983 built 436 113 knocked in completely the front part while the new, 2003 built 485 002-0, got broken buffers and comparatively light damage only. Nobody was seriously

So far the only serious accident of TRAXX units on Swiss rails.


Mozilla Firefox  
To the top of the page

  Swiss TRAXX Model RR Operation

/// The story will go on from here soon...


Mozilla Firefox  
To the top of the page


© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2012   -   Created 5.2.2012 Peider SwissTrip, John McKey, Updated 1.8.2012