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ÖBB 1216: Why another Taurus family member?  
Since 1999 Siemens is delivering TAURUS locomotives to the OBB. By 2001, the number of machines to be built increased had grown up to 400 locomotives (50x1016, 350x1116). This number of machines was inspired by a ambitious plan to make the OBB a leading supplier of locomotive power to various operators in Europe, in cooperation with the German DB, and to become a important operator for international freight services towards Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia.

But as time passed by, an delivery progressed, these plans proved to be unrealistic or even impossible. The DB no longer wanted to cooperate, unpredicted technical problems made homologation processes of 1016/1116 series difficult or even impossible for several foreign countries.

The order for 400 machines however, with a volume of 1.1 billion Euros, was final. The OBB attempts the reduce the number of locomotives on order, were futile. With the introduction of the EuroSprinter ES64F4 platform by Siemens and the Traxx MS locomotives by Bombardier, new products optimised for international interoperability, became available to the market. These machines made it possible for other operators to enter markets, that where also of interest to the OBB. Especially direct long-haul services towards Italy were very lucrative.

So finally, Siemens and the OBB agreed on a total different plan, which made it possible to the OBB the become the international player they wanted to be, which reduced the number of 1016/1116 series machines, without changing the volume of the original Taurus order. For Siemens this new agreement made it possible to develop the ultimate EuroSprinter locomotive, melting the ES64U2 (1016/1116) and ES64F4 platforms together. The result is the OBB 1216 series, or Siemens ES64U4 platform, offering such a versatile solution, that it can be used for every possible service one can think of.

As the new machines were about 20% more expensive as the original 1016/1116 series, the total number of machines that would be built was decreased, so that the total volume of 1,1 billion Euro could stay the same. In stead of the latter 68 1116 machines, now 50 1216 series locomotives would be built.