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ÖBB 1216: About the prototypes  
A prototype during the very first trails in Austria, accompagnied by an Austrian measurement vehicle and a 1116.

For test, experiments, promotional purposes three machines were ready to go in April 2005. 1216 001 and 002 were first transported to the Velim test centre in Cerhenice (CZ). After that the 001 went to Italy, the 002 to Slovenia and later on to Slovakia. The 003 went to Linz, got special bogies and run many tests in Austria. In June 2005 the 003 was the first engine used for a commercial OBB service. That month the 003 also visited Switzerland for runs at the Gotthard-Südrampe and the NBS Mattstetten – Rothrist. In August high speed tests took place in Germany with the 003 at the NBS Würzburg - Hannover. The 1216 family was also present at several events; 002 joined the rolling stock show at Rosenheim in June 2005, and was baptised by Kardinal Schönborn at 22.06.2005.

In January 2006 all this fun came to an end and the machines were prepared for delivery to the OBB; new service numbers were applied. 1216 001 kept its number, 1216 002 became 1216 226 and the 1216 003 is now 1216 141. At first sight it looks maybe a bit ought, but there is logic in it! The 50 engines are numbered 1216 X01-X50, with the X being the number that represents the sub type (0=A, 1=B, 2=C), which can and will be changed.