In the slipstream of the Austrian OBB 1216 series, the Slovenian Railways (SZ) decided to order 20 similar high speed multi purpose locomotives back in 2004. These machines, designated 541 series, are configured for 3kVDC (for Slovenia and Italy), 15kVAC (Austria and Germany) and 25kVAC (Croatia and Hungary) voltage systems. With only minor alterations also 1,5kVDC is possible. Different country specific packages are implemented, resulting in two different sub series. 541 101 was the first to leave the Siemens factories in Munchen, in October 2005, which after completing its trial period, was handed over to the SZ in the summer of 2006.
In January 2008 the Slovenian government gave official permission for an additional order for twelve machines, delivered in 2009. The order was announced on national Slovenian television. 541-011, the first machine of this batch, was completed in April 2009 and first seen in revenue service one month later.
Lets see how the SZ, in 2009 managing a fleet of 32 modern electrics, will be able to upgrade lines and services so that these becoming more challenging for the 541 series, with its top speed of 230 kph and 6400 kW duration power. For now these impressive performances seem still a bit over the top.