As early as the Twenties, the Austrian Federal Railways (BBÖ) decided to electrify their most important lines as quickly as possible. Seven mountain express locomotives, the class 1100 (on the ÖBB: Class 1089) were delivered in 1923/24 to the BBÖ especially for the grades in mountains. These 20,350 mm / 80 foot 1-1/2 inch long units were based on a Swiss prototype and consisted of two close-coupled driving frames, on which a short engine room bridge with a transformer, sliding relays, and two cabs was mounted with articulation. Due to their long, low, narrow hoods on the driving frames, the name "Crocodile" quickly came into use, whereby these units looked the most like crocodiles of all "Crocodiles". Since they turned out extremely well, nine more units were delivered in 1926/27 as road numbers 1100.101-109 (ÖBB: 1189.01-09). Due to altered gearing, these locomotives reached a higher speed and were equipped with more powerful motors.
Prototype: Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) class 1189 "Austrian Crocodile" electric locomotive. Version in a fir green basic paint scheme. Road number 1189.04. The locomotive looks as it did at the beginning to mid-Seventies.