The Re 485 series locomotives are used for transalp services which BLS Cargo has set up in cooperation with German operator DB Schenker and Italian logistics company Ambrogio. The BLS Cargo machines are often used in mixed services with the red DB Schenker 185 series locomotives and do visit Germany on a regular basis.
Since 2002 many things have changed. The number of services operated by BLS Cargo increased and in 2004 therefore ten additional locomotives were ordered. Untill these were delivered the fleet was already extended on a temporary basis by leasing some similar locomotives from Angel Trains Cargo; 185 525-527 however returned to their owner when the second batch started commercial services.
In June 2006 BLS Lötschbergbahn AG merged with another operator from Switzerland, Regionalverkerh Mittelland (RM), and the BLS AG was born. This did not affect the Re 485 series and its services. Transport volumes however kept on growing and in 2006 again additional machines had to be leased from Angel Trains Cargo; this time 185 525, 527, 535, 536, 576 and 577 were incorporated into the BLS Cargo fleet.
In 2007 therefore BLS decided to order a third batch of modern electrics, but this time the company decided to purchase a multi-system version of Bombardier’s Traxx platform. These machines, the designated Re 486.5 series have their separate section on this website.
In June 2008 DB Schenker, since the beginning of the cooperation with BLS Cargo also stakeholder of the operator, announced that had increased its share in the company form 25% to 40%. The German operator is also fortifying its position on the transalp freight market.