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SBB Cargo Re 484: General history  
May 2004 was a very important month for Bombardier Transportation, as already stated in the introduction of this section. That month Re484 001 for SBB Cargo had it’s official roll-out, the very first multi-system (MS) derivate of the Traxx platform family. Production number 34000 was reserved for this engine, as shown on large canvas decorating both sides of the locomotive, showing a good old steam locomotive and some other Traxx machines.

Bombardier constructed 18 MS machines for SBB Cargo in 2004. Originally SBB Cargo had only ordered 12 machines but the option for 6 more was already awarded before construction of the first batch had started. Number 004 was also present at the international Innotrans 2004 railway fair in Berlin. Bombardier got the Re 484 homologated for both Switzerland and Italy within only 6 months. Italian safety body RFI approved the Re 484 on 15.12.2004.

Between February and April 2005 16 machines of the first two batches were approved by the Italian RFI authority and officially delivered to SBB Cargo, in August the last two completed the Re484 series. Home base of the complete serie is Bellinzona depot, from where they operate on mixed freight trains to Gallarate. Additionally, south of the Alps, they run services from Chiasso to Desio. It is often asked why these multi-system locomotives are employed in Italy and Switzerland only. The answer is that SBB Cargo wants it that way. Regarding their service package and fleet composition this is the most economic solution right now. Homologating and equipping the machines for Germany for example is very expensive (they also couldn't take profit from another customer having similar machines homologated for other countries) and this investment could not be justified when you know that SBB Cargo also operates a fleet of more than 70 machines (Re421, Re482 and Re482.2) which can operate from Switzerland up to north to Germany. Changing traction at the Swiss-German border is more economic right now.

visiting Holland

Re484 005 visited the Netherlands in May-June 2005 to take part in the homologation process of the Traxx platform in this country. At that moment the machine was still property of Bombardier. However, before even the trials, planned on the new BetuweRoute, had started, the complete session had to be cancelled, because overhead wiring was damaged some days before. The 005 was sent back to Germany and came back later that year for a second attempt which was successful. All that time the machine carried a dark red adhesive promoting Bombardier on the BetuweRoute. At the end of 2005 the machine was prepared for regular services in Switzerland and Italy and was handed over to SBB Cargo.

three more!

At the end of 2005, Bombardier was awarded by SBB Cargo with the order for three additional Re484s. Remarkable because that same year 6 machines of a similar type with similar performances, the Re474 series, were rejected and given back to their manufacturer, Siemens. The Re484 019, 020 and 021 were delivered in 2007 after being equipped with the new SCMT safety and signalling system for Italy and European system ETCS level 2. In September 2007, number 021 was nicknamed 'Gottardo', because of the 125th anniversary of train services of the Gothard route.

In 2006, SBB Cargo decided to refit all its Re484 series machines with SCMT and ETCS. For the first 10 machines this was done in Kassel, the Bombardier assembly site. One by one machines were transported to Germany and back that year. Machines that have been retrofitted can be identified by small silver coloured adhesives at every cab end.