[EU] Lost track of TRAXX? Here is a model to understand the Bombardier locomotive family

For all those who lost track of all the different TRAXX locomotive types, we made a new overview, visual, colorful; This is the new TRAXX family three: 🙂

Infographic: Railcolor Design

And this often raises the question, but of which TRAXX type is the locomotive I have seen? Let us give you the right links and most popular designations:

  • TRAXX AC – 145, 146.0, SBB 481, MThB 486, 145-CL
  • TRAXX AC1 – 185.0, 146.1, 185-CL, 185 5xx, SBB 482, BLS 485, 146 5xx, CFL 4000
  • TRAXX AC2 – 185.1, 146.2, 146.3, 146 5xx, SBB 482.2, Hector 241, MAV 480, Litt Re
  • TRAXX AC3 (Last Mile) – 187, 487, Israel 3000

And how do I recognize the different type? Well let us show you the different body types:

AC: it has the more rounded nose, the center pieces of its roof are higher compared to other TRAXX types. No cameras, large round opening for filling the sand boxes. They have two pantographs.

AC1: It has the same body shape as the AC, but many details were adjusted to make the locomoties ready for international traffic into Switzerland, Austria, France for example. The center roof parts are lowered and differ in height. The machine may have cameras, two or four pantographs; Sand box fill openings are not in the body anymore, but placed hanging under the frame.

AC2 = MS2: The first generation TRAXX locomotives with the new and improved body shape. The front shape is different, with a front hatch housing the airco installation, ending vertically at the bottom. The frame is also redesigned, both ends are a little wider. Two or four pantographs are possible. Sand box fill openings are again integrated into the body. Almost all units with this design are AC2 locomotives, except for the Re484 series locomotives running in Switzerland and Italy. 21 units are property of SBB Cargo, 5 more are part of the fleet of lease company MRCE.

MS2e = DC = DE: This is the problem-maker. This version is almost identical to the previous one, the body design only differs in details; Different grids on the roof, an extra fill opening in the middle of the body (for diesel fuel) and the large sides now have three segments in stead of one. There are no AC locomotives with this body design, only multi system locomotives, DC locomotives and diesels. The diesels are a bit easier to recognize of course, as they do not have pantographs, the roof is higher and they feature ventilation grids on both sides.

Note: Somewhere around 2016 Bombardier decided to simplify the design of this body type, as the DE version was no longer offered. The newest MS2e locomotives (for example the newest NS 186 series locomotives) have no fuel fill openings anymore and the three-section side panels were replaced by a single big one.

DE Multi Engine: For the DE Multi Engine locomotives of Bombardier, Deutsche Bahn is the biggest customer. For these machines, that have four smaller industrial diesel engines in stead of one big one, also the MS2e = DC = DE body type is being used, but adjusted for the new engine configuration. This means the sides have multiple openings (for ventilation and maintenance) for four engines. The roof is also adjusted. The cabs however are identical to the previous version.

AC3: Hey this one is easy. In 2011 Bombardier presented a dummy locomotive with a complete new front design. It is more rounded and the Bombardier V signature shape is integrated into the cab design. The AC3 (only AC electric locomotives exist with this design until now) can all have Flex Panel’s, flexible canvasses, mounted with springs over the metal sides, that are ribbed. The drawing below shows a machine without Flex Panel:

The future MS3=DC3 will get the same cab design as the AC3, but will feature normal, smooth side panels again.

Well, we hope this all contributes to more clarity and less confusion. If you have any question regarding this page or these locomotives, don’t hesitate to contact us.