ÖBB Class 1216-235-2 Taurus 4
Image by czechian
EuroSprinter ES 64 U
Based on the Eurosprinter concept the ES 64 U was developed as a universal electric locomotive with a top speed of 230 km/h. The series ES 64 U is only capable to operate under 15 kV voltage. It is in service in Austria with ÖBB as Class Rh 1016. Unlike the F series, all U series are equipped with quill drive instead, thus reducing the track forces. The ÖBB assigned the protected name Taurus to Class Rh 1016 (and later to the Classes Rh 1116 and Rh 1216); since then all ES 64 U+ series are widely known in as ‘Taurus’ locos.
The ES 64 U2 can also operate under 25 kV AC. It is operated by ÖBB as Class Rh 1116, by Deutsche Bahn AG as Class 182 and as well as by MAV and as a hire locomotive from dispolok. The Hungarian company GySEV (Gyõr-Sopron-Ebenfurth Railway Corp) operate these units as Class 1047.
All four European electric systems (15 and 25 kV AC, 1.5 and 3 kV DC) can be used by the ES 64 U4. Its electric components are mostly identical to those of ES 64 F4. The four-system series (with the 1500 V capability disabled within the software) are currently used in Austria by ÖBB and the private operator Rail Traction Service as Class Rh 1216 and in Slovenia by Slovenske železnice (SZ) as Class 541. In Italy RFI assigns the classification E 190.
The minor changes in the layout of this type means that it is the third generation of the Eurosprinter family.
A special version of the ES 64 U4 was delivered to the Vogtlandbahn of Germany with the designation Class 183. Although the body is the same as any other ES 64 U4 locomotive, it is bi-current and can only operate on the German 15kV AC and the Czech 25kV AC system. This also reveals the first inconsistencies in the type designations, as it should be called a ES 64 U2, while Siemens only adopts the ES 64 U4 designation for this version; it is rumoured that the Vogtlandbahn locomotives do have the equipment to operate on all 4 systems (which could explain why Siemens remains with the ES 64 U4 designation), but that the different software used in this subseries and the lack of 2 extra pantographs prevents them from doing so.
On 2 September 2006 the locomotive Rh 1216 050-5 (prior to delivery to ÖBB) set a new world record for conventional electric locomotives, during the trials near Nürnberg it reached a top speed of 357 km/h. Remarkably enough, the locomotive was not modified for the record.