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2002: the ES64F4 platform  
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ES 64 F4 = EuroSprinter, 6400 kW power rating, Freight , multi-system (15kV/25kV AC + 1,5kV/3kV DC)
Back in 1999, German state operator DB Schenker awarded Siemens with a follow-up order for another 100 locomotives, based on its 152 series locomotives. As the 152 series is only used fur domestic freight services in Germany, the new batch had to be able to play an important role in international long-haul freight distribution. Between 1999 and 2002 therefore Siemens developed the brand new ES64F4 platform, revolutionary flexible, now better known under its DB designation - 189 series. Its modularity makes it possible for ES64F4 machine to cope with all challenges of border-crossing freight services; four different catenary systems, several loading gauges, and numerous lighting systems, safety regulations and signalling systems, different in every European country. Weight was reduced by implementing new technology, like IGBT converters, and by using a light-weight construction of the body. A power system was built to cope with all four catenary systems generally used in Europe. New head lights were applied, using LED technology, so that numerous light signals used in Europe can be displayed. Software was developed to make the platform workable for drivers from all over Europe.
However, the platform also demonstrates that the Europe still has to go a very long way to become a unity on rails. European standards, like a European driver licence and the European train control system ERMTS, are in the making, but up till these systems are universal applied, each country still maintains its own systems and regulations, often contradicting. Signalling systems used in Austria and Switzerland interfere. Italy requires red painted cab fronts, Belgium yellow ones, the Netherlands wants white ones. Modern technique can solve many issues and open-up borders, but one locomotive can only have 4 pantographs max, carry a limited number of signalling systems and a driver also needs his rest. All factors that force operators to configure a locomotive only for a certain corridor and the countries it is crossing.
Configuring a locomotive for services is one, getting it homologated (getting safety and service approval of the locomotive from the national authorities) for several countries then still has to be done, being an expensive and time consuming process, often interfered by political powers and other economical arguments. The homologation process for Poland took more than 18 months for example. Nevertheless, Siemens is making progress, and the ES64F4 platform slowly conquers Europe. Maybe not incorporated in one single locomotive, but together, all ES64F4 platform configurations are coming quite close...

technical data
product description asynchrone multi-system electric locomotive for freight operation
production period 2002-2010 (projected)
total number built 213 (projected)
track gauge 1435 mm
loading gauge UIC 505-1
propulsion system
propulsion with nose suspended motors
traction converter
watercooled, IGBT-technology
number of axles
axle configuration
87 t
axle load 21,75 t
length over buffers
19.580 mm
body width 3.000 mm
height 4.245 mm
wheel base (distance center of bogies) 9.900 mm
wheel base of one bogie 2.900 mm
wheel diameter (max / min) 1.250 mm / 1.170 mm
power system / power rating
15kV 16 2/3 Hz AC / 6400 kW
  25kV 50Hz AC / 6400 kW
  3kV DC / 6000 kW
  1,5kV DC / 4200 kW
140 kph (160 kph)*
duration traction effort
290 kN
starting traction effort
300 kN
* research has proven that it is technically possible to get the ES64F4 bogies with nose suspended motors approved for 160 kph - however there is no need for this upgrade up till now