NJ Transit had used the ALP-44 on the electrified routes since the late 1980s, which was based on the AEM-7, which in turn was derived from the Swedish Rc. In 1999, the first 24 three-phase locomotives were ordered from Adtranz, which were based on the German class 101 and were intended to replace the ALP-44. They were manufactured in the Kassel plant and have been delivered by Bombardier since 2001.
The machines weighed a few tons more than the class 101 and were only designed for 100 mph due to the possible speeds on the NJ Transit network. On the east coast of the USA there are three different AC systems that the locomotives had to be suitable for. As with the class 101, GTO thyristors were used to control the power, but here each axle was not controlled separately and one bogie each was combined to form a control group. This connects them with the TRAXX locomotives, which Bombardier now offers in Europe and which, compared to the 101, have simplified traction electronics. A total of 29 ALP-46s were procured by 2002.
Between 2009 and 2011, another 36 pieces of the successor called ALP-46A were procured to replace the last ALP-44s. These now used IGBT thyristors and had an hourly output of 5,600 instead of 5,300 kW. Although the NJ Transit network was still not designed for speeds higher than 100 mph, the ALP-46A was built for a maximum speed of 125 mph in the event of later route expansions. In 2011, the Canadian GO Transit considered the purchase of the ALP-46A as part of the planned electrification of some routes, which did not happen. Since the work is currently not scheduled to begin until 2023, there will be a renewed search for suitable locomotives in due course.