In 1996, the Polish Railways (PKP) ordered a batch of fifty last generation electric locomotives from Adtranz: eight multisystem units (3kVDC and 15kVAC / EU43 / Type 112E) and 42 single voltage locomotives (3kVDC / EU11 / Type 113E). Both were designed as multi-purpose platforms, capable of hauling passenger trains at their maximum design speed of 220 kph and heavy freight trains up to 1200 tonnes at a speed of 140 kph.
The construction of the first EU11 units began in 1998 in Wroclaw, Poland. In 2000 there were some first issues of commercial
nature between Adtranz Poland and PKP, that finally led to cancelling the supply contract in February 2002. At that moment, only test runs had been performed with EU11s, on a small scale.
On 23.01.2001, engineers from Italy visited Poland to examine the EU11s (and EU43s), that already had been completed (25 units). They documented all neccessary modifications if these machines would be purchased by Italian operators. It was uncertain at that point of time if all 42 EU11s would be built.
The dispute between Adtranz and PKP ended when Bombardier Transportation bought Adtranz. The now German-Canadian company decided that the EU11 order had to be completed (all EU43s were already finsihed at that time), because they found potential, alternative customers in Italy.
On 21.01.2002 Trenitalia purchased a first batch of 24 former EU11 locomotives from Bombardier. In early February, EU11-003 arrived in Italy for trails. RTC considered to buy sixteen EU11s, but on 23.04.2002, Trenitalia got hold on the remaining eighteen locomotives.
In 2002, EU11-001, -002 and -022 came to Italy for trials. In Wroclaw, Bombardier started to adjust all locomotives to the requirements of FS/Trenitalia. They were repainted and renumbered as E405 series. Remarkable is that modifying the right oriented driver's desk was considered being to costly (in Italy, left orientation is the standard).
Units E405-006, -027 and -028 were the first to be delivered to FS/Trenitala on 23.10.2003. E405-022 was the last one, arriving on 06.08.2004. Initally all units were assigned to freight services of the Milano Smistamento depot, but this changed very rapidly, as the E405s proved to be good traction for passenger services between Verona and the Brenner, starting in December 2004. They still (March 2012) haul passenger trains on this relation, but their number has decreased, as Trenitalia withdrew many of its international services.
Since February 2006, the use of E405s in tandem with the E412s is permanently allowed on the Brenner route. In 2007 Trenitalia extends the use of E405 at the head of passenger trains also to Venice and Bologna, with EC 86/87 "Tiepolo" and 286/287 "Capri".
In 2009, units -021 to -042 were re-allocated from Milano Smistamento to Verona, where the E405s are used over the Brenner route. Both DB Autozug services and the prestigious "Venice Simplon Orient Express" (in pair) are now part of their task description.
source: Michele Sacco