E183 / EU44
E183 601 (Siemens 21314/2008), still with German designations but in the PKP InterCity livery; Warszawa Wschodnia station, March 19, 2010.
E183 604 (Siemens 21663/2009), photographed at exactly the same place on April 29, 2010.
Two ‘EuroSprinters’, photographed at the Warszawa Wschodnia station on July 9, 2010: 5 370 009…
…and E183 605-5.
5 370 007 (Siemens 21666/2010), photographed at the Warszawa Wschodnia station on March 1, 2011.
The same location and 5 370 009 again: April 6, 2011.
5 370 005 leaves Warszawa Wschodnia station: April 20, 2011.
1216 226-1 from the ÖBB fleet passes through the construction site of the new Wien Südbahnhof; May 8, 2011. More pictures of foreign ‘EuroSprinters’ can be found here.
Warszawa Wschodnia again: 5 370 001 displays the ‘Husarz’ name. May 23, 2011.
5 370 003, photographed near Warszawa Zachodnia station on August 3, 2011.
Two pictures, taken at the Warszawa Wschodnia station two days later: 5 370 006…
…and 5 370 004.
On the occasion of Euro2012 football championship, several locomotives – including ES64U4s – were given specials liveries. This 5 370 005 was photographed at the Warszawa Wschodnia station on May 25, 2012.
Another special livery: 5 370 004, photographed at the same location on August 20, 2012…
…and three more from the same location, August 30, 2012: 5 370 010…
…5 370 006…
…and 5 370 001.
5 370 005 leaves the Warszawa Wschodnia station: May 17, 2013.
5 370 009 again, this time displaying a special livery (related to a music festival sponsored by Heineken brewing company); Warszawa Wschodnia station, September 3, 2013.
Two more pictures from the same location: 5 370 003…
…and 5 370 002; both taken on May 27, 2014.
Warszawa Wschodnia again: 5 370 001, photographed on September 3, 2014, advertises a music festival.
I’m not sure if pink is OK for a locomotive, but business first… 5 370 010 advertises a telecom company. Warszawa Wschodnia station, October 8, 2015.
The same location and… the same telecom company. 5 370 006, April 14, 2016.
Once again: 5 370 009, September 17, 2017.
5 370 010, photographed at the Poznań Główny station on April 25, 2018.
The same location: EU44-005 aka 5 370 005 in the ‘Independence’ livery, May 8, 2019.
First attempt to modernize the fleet of PKP electric locomotives, undertaken in late 1990s, proved unsuccessful: EU11s and EU43s, ordered from Pafawag, were never delivered due to financial problems and finally sold to Italy. After Polish state railways were split into several companies, each of them has pursued its own procurement policy. PKP InterCity was the last to order new locomotives and the choice fell on the ES64 type from Siemens AG.
History of this type can be traced back to 1992, when prototype of a new electric locomotive was completed. It was designated ES64P: ES stood for ‘EuroSprinter’, the commercial name of the entire family, 64 was related to the rated power (6 400 kW) and P indicated prototype. After service tests with DB (class 127), during which ES64P attained 310 km/h, production started in 1996 and still continues. First orders were for a freight versions ES64F, but the most important sub-type is the ES64U universal locomotive. It was initially ordered by Austrian ÖBB as classes 1016 (ES64U), 1116 (ES64U2) and 1216 (ES64U4) and nicknamed ‘Taurus’ – this name was later adopted for the entire type. As with the freight variants, the last digit in type designation indicates the number of voltage systems. Externally ‘Taurus’ can be distinguished from earlier freighters by more streamlined body and different front wall, it is also slightly wider. Orders for various versions came from Austria (ÖBB and RTS), Germany (DB Schenker Rail and DB Regio class 182, Vogtlandbahn class 183, Mittelweserbahn class 1116), Hungary (MÁV and GySEV class 1047), Slovenia (SŽ class 541) and Switzerland (HUPAC class 1116), as well as by several leasing companies. Locomotives built for individual customers differ in many details, which is indicated by additional letters and digits in type designation. Until now (March 2010) 526 examples have been built, the majority (392) going to ÖBB. On September 2, 2006, Austrian 1216 050-5 set up a new locomotive speed record, attaining 357 km/h between Nuremberg and Ingolstadt; it is worth mentioning here that this record had not been broken since 1955! Quite remarkably, 1216 050-5 was a standard production example with no modifications. In production locomotives maximum speed was initially limited to 200 km/h by control system settings; later, with deliveries of new passenger cars, this limit was increased to 230 km/h.
Decision to purchase ES64U4 for PKP InterCity was taken in August 2008 and the first ‘Taurus’ (s/n 21314/2008) arrived in November. Polish version is designated ES64U4B2. Second example (21319/2008) arrived in May 2009. After tests they were formally accepted by PKP in October 2009, to be followed by further two in January 2010 and two in March. Initially they were operated with temporary German service numbers 183 601 through 606, but class designation EU44 has been reserved for them and is already commonly used, although these designations have not yet been placed on individual locomotives. Six more have been scheduled to arrive in 2010; currently (January 2011) four are known to be in use in use and are operated with UIC numbers 537 0007 through 0010. Contrary to ES64F4s, used by several Polish operators, these locomotives are the property of PKP InterCity. They have been given a semi-official nickname ‘Husarz’ (hussar). First line service of these locomotives was with the Berlin-Warsaw express trains.
‘EuroSprinter’ is currently the most powerful and fastest locomotive in Poland, but its performance can be fully exploited only on a few lines. This, however, shall probably improve with track upgrading expected in near future. Further purchases of these locomotives are very likely.
Main technical data
1) Until January 2011, all sub-versions.
2) Current speed limit in Poland.
4) 3 kV DC.
5) 1.5 kV DC.
References and acknowledgments
- Monographic article by Paweł Terczyński (SK vol. 1/2010);
- www.kolejowaklatka.org (website by Marek Dąbrowski);
- Seweryn Dębski (private communication);
- SK (various issues).