In 2002 SBB Cargo founded a new subsidiary Swiss Rail Cargo Germany (nowadays SBB Cargo Deutschland). The first services were executed with Re482 010-014 (with only two pantographs). From July 2003 on however, SBB Cargo introduced six locomotives specially retrofitted for services in Germany only; the designated Re481 001-006. These machines, only two years old, were taken over from Mittelthurgau-Bahn, which went bankrupt in 2002. The workshops of Basel adjusted and repainted the former MThB Re486 651-656 and equipped them with the German safety and detection systems only, making them the first engines in services for a Swiss company that were not allowed to run in Switzerland!
However, in the period 2003-2005 the SBB Cargo fleet kept on gorwing and finally there were more than enough new Re482 series locomotives available to secure all services of SBB Cargo in Germany and Switzerland. The Re481 series no longer had the privilige of running in Germany and SBB Cargo started to rent them out to other operators. Finally, in 2005, SBB Cargo decided to sell the machines to lease company MRCE-Dispolok. They had completed their interim task.