DB Cargo made the start for the TRAXX family by ordering a variant of the medium-power class 145 from Adtranz, which should also be usable abroad and under 25,000 volts. Adtranz (later Bombardier) further developed the class 145 accordingly and now marketed it as the TRAXX F140 AC1. The name stands for “Transnational Railway Applications with eXtreme fleXibility”. DB Cargo had now converted an option for the class 145 to the new locomotive.
The origin from the 145 means that the freight variant still has nose-suspended motors, which was unproblematic with the current state of the art at 140 km/h. The transformer is still under the frame and there is only one anti-slip control per bogie and not for each individual axle. Since the equipment needed to operate in all the countries required would have beaten the weight, individual country packages were offered. The driver's cabs were equipped with multifunction displays in order to be able to display the various information.
The 200 F140 AC1 locomotives of DB Cargo run there as class 1850. The designation stands for freight, 140 km/h, alternating current and generation 1. They mainly replaced the class 140. 65 of them have the Switzerland package so that the locomotives can be used on the Gotthard ramp, among others. Other customers with a Switzerland package are SBB Cargo and BLS, which use 35 and 20 examples respectively and run them as Re 482 and Re 485. 20 other examples from DB Cargo have the France package, which also includes suitability for 25,000 volts and 50 hertz. Other F140 AC1s are owned by leasing companies. They often change operators and only get the color scheme of the leasing company.
The Luxembourg CFL uses 20 locomotives as the series 4000, which basically correspond to the F140 AC1. However, these are used in passenger service and are therefore also referred to as P140 AC1. These are still driven by nose-suspended motors.
The P160 AC1, which has a quill drive to improve running characteristics, was developed directly for passenger transport. DB Regio uses 32 units as class 1461, mainly in front of 160 km/h fast double-deck coaches. Ten more are used by the regional transport company of Lower Saxony under the brand name “Metronom”, here too with double-decker coaches. Both these locomotives and the freight variant have been partially upgraded from 4,200 to 5,600 kW through a software update.