The Class 1216 - Third Generation Alpine Bull.
In the wake of the new political order in Europe, the transportation routes once again are going straight through the Alpine republic of Austria into the center of the continent. The Austrian Federal Railways could not and have not wanted to miss this connection and have prescribed themselves and their motive power roster a radical rejuvenating cure. In addition to a new design for the infrastructure, at present one of the largest and architecturally most spectacular train stations in Europe is being built, the locomotives and rolling stock have either been upgraded or newly purchased. The best known and most beautiful new development in terms of its shape is the "Taurus" locomotive family built by Siemens, the classes 1016, 1116, and 1216. The rollout of the 3rd generation of the class 1216 Alpine Bull took place on March 31, 2005 at the Siemens plant in Munich. A total of 50 locomotives were ordered by the ÖBB and are to be used mainly in cross-border passenger and freight service. This four-system, three-phase current, general-purpose locomotive was derived largely from the Siemens ES 64 U4, designated on the German Railroad, Inc. as the class 189. Externally, the Taurus family genes are very much handed down. In terms of design, there have been several changes however such as four doors, a fairing for the costly roof equipment, LED lighting, and the upper front light now placed under the windshield. This four-motor locomotive is something over 19 meters / 62 feet 4-1/6 inches long, reaches a maximum speed of 230 km/h / 144 mph and has an axle load of 21.8 metric tons. Even before its time as the ÖBB bull, road no. 1216 050 broke the world record for conventional locomotives set by the SNCF's road no. BB 9004 in 1955 at 331 km/h / 207 mph. This was done on September 2, 2006 on the Nürnberg-Ingolstadt new construction route between Kinding and Allersberg. Road no. 1216 050 ran, without extensive preparation to the track, catenary, or the locomotive, at a speed of 344 km/h / 215 mph and even reached 357 km/h / 223 mph during a second test run. At the end of 2007 it was transferred like the other 49 class 1216 locomotives to the ÖBB and it will serve primarily in runs from Austria to Slovenia and Italy. The 1216 will come to Germany and Hungary as part of the new ÖBB product "Railjet" and will link Vienna with Munich and Budapest on a regular schedule. The fast, powerful bulls of the 3rd generation cut a good figure in the immense, futuristic halls of the new Vienna Main Station and out on the line.