SBB Re 4/4 IV - SBB Re 4/4 IV

SBB Re 4/4IV – SOB Re 446
SBB Re 4/4IV 10101
SBB Re 4/4IV 10101
Numbering: SBB 10101–10104
SOB Re 446 015–018
Number: 4
Manufacturer: SLM, BBC
Year of construction (s): 1982
Axis formula : Bo'Bo '
Gauge : 1435 mm (Normalspur)
Length over buffers: 15'800 mm
Height: 4'000 mm
Width: 2'950 mm
Bogie axle base: 2'900 mm
Total wheelbase: 10'800 mm
Service mass: 80 t
Top speed: 160 km / h
Hourly output : 4960 kW
Starting tractive effort: 300 kN
Hourly traction: 210 kN
Impeller diameter: 1'260 mm
Power system : 15 kV , 16.7 Hz ~
Power transmission: Overhead line
Number of traction motors: 4
Drive: electric
Coupling type: Screw coupling
Particularities: First SBB thyristor locomotive

The four-axle prototype locomotives built by SLM and BBC for the SBB were designated as Re 4/4 IV . Today these four locomotives are in use as Re 446s at the railway service provider GmbH . Because of their loud air noise, they were nicknamed " vacuum cleaners ", alternatively they were also called "containers" because of their angular box shape.



In the 1970s, the SBB evaluated suitable forms of high-speed transport for Switzerland. The Bahn 2000 project gradually took shape and various cost-benefit analyzes led to the realization that the infrastructure and rolling stock should be designed for a maximum speed of 200 km / h.

The reliable Re 4/4 II in use were too heavy for this purpose. The technology used cannot deliver more power, or the increase in tractive power compared to the Re 4/4 III is at the expense of speed. The use of rectifier technology is trend-setting, but it was still in its infancy and caused constant problems with the RABDe 8/16 prototype multiple units that had been in use since 1974 .

Construction, design, technology and experience

Because of this well-known susceptibility to errors, the SLM and the BBC jointly produced four prototype locomotives, which are basically the same as the RABDe 8/16 . To save weight, the locomotives were made of light steel to accommodate the heavy equipment - this means that the axle load can be kept at 20 tons. As with the RABDe 8/16, rectifier-fed shaft current motors were used. Since these are prototypes, two locomotives received transmissions from BBC, the other two from SLM. The technology used allowed a top speed of 160 km / h and a continuous output of just over 5050 kW at around 85 km / h.

Locomotive 10101 took its first test drive in April 1982 and was the last of the four to be handed over to SBB in October - its sister machines had already been transferred to SBB in the summer. At the beginning of 1983, the 10104 in the Heitersberg tunnel provided evidence that it can reach the speed of 175 km / h, which is necessary to obtain approval for 160 km / h. Since the SBB were testing new color schemes, each of the four locomotives was given a different paint job on delivery. The 10101 had red cabs and dark gray side walls, the 10102 had the same color scheme with light gray side walls. The 10103 was painted completely red with an oversized SBB logo. In retrospect, this resulted in the design for theSBB HGe 4/4 II and the SBB Re 460 . The 10104 was also completely red, but with a smaller SBB logo than the 10101 and 10102.

The locomotives have an electric brake, which is only designed as a resistance brake, since the state of the art in 1982 did not allow recuperation braking with thyristor control. It also became apparent that the interference suppression measures were more complex than initially expected; In the early years, security and signal systems were influenced several times.

Re 4/4 IV 10103

Despite constant improvements to the locomotive technology and ironed out teething problems, it was clear in 1985 that the locomotive would not go into series production. The introduction of the Zurich S-Bahn, planned for 1990 , was in the foreground for SBB, while a short-term decline in traffic and the delayed construction of new lines only required appropriate rolling stock in the medium term. Studies by SLM and BBC also show that the desired universal high-speed locomotive for 200 km / h, which exists today as SBB Re 460 , required further development work. The SBB responded and awarded a corresponding development contract. Initially, a type designation Re 4/4 VI was planned.

The four Re 4/4 IV thus remain individual copies.

Commitment and career at SBB

They were to be found in particular on Lake Geneva , in Valais and occasionally between Zurich and St. Margrethen . In 1984 an SBB advertising slogan was “In the future, the railway”. A performance exhibition with different rolling stock was carried out at different train stations. The Re 4/4 IV 10102 was also on display. At the end of 1986, all four machines that were assigned to the Lausanne depot were given a uniform paint job in the so-called traffic red and the Bahn 2000 advertising that was characteristic until 1992 . Then their external appearance became the SBB Re 460adjusted. The locomotives did scheduled service in Valais. Anyone who hoped to find a Re 4/4 IV in regular service had to reckon with the fact that the train was hauled by an SBB Re 4/4 II or an SBB Re 6/6 - this is how the schedule provided for when a Re 4 / 4 IV failed. The generously developed route in the Rhone Valley served the SBB as a test route and for a long time was the only noteworthy section that could be driven at up to 160 km / h. At the beginning of 1987, further speed tests followed, in which one of the locomotives reached 188 km / h and a trio set the Swiss speed record of 192 km / h, which was broken in 1992 by the Re 460 .

The maintenance of the prototype series turned out to be extremely costly compared to the large series. Therefore, the SBB tried to sell the four machines and also to dispense with the envisaged re-labeling (Re 440 000–003) in the UIC-compliant numbering scheme introduced in 1992. With the SOB to be agreed finally to a vehicle exchange: the four Re 4/4 IV went to the SOB, SBB took over in return four Re 4/4 III .

SOB Re 446

SOB Re 446 with advertising paint

On December 14, 1994 the SOB took over the first two Re 4/4 IV from the SBB [1] , but the "swap" of the remaining two locomotives dragged on until 1996. At the SOB, the small series was given its new designation Re 446 (Re 446 445-448), but repainting and redrawing only took place during revision work or longer workshop stays, so that the last Re 4/4 IV was still in service with the SOB until 1997 .

When they were taken over, the Re 446 initially kept their red paintwork with a white SÜDOSTBAHN lettering and a yellow decorative line. Soon they became advertising locomotives; For a while all four locomotives had different advertising designs.

On the occasion of the merger of the SOB with the BT , a new numbering scheme was introduced in 2001, which is why Re 446 445–448 were re-designated and now operate as Re 446 015–018. The 016 and 018 have also lost their advertising and received the new SOB design in red with rounded white surfaces on the side walls and large logos. With the commissioning of the FLIRT multiple units in 2007, a new color scheme was introduced again, silver with red surfaces on the side walls that are pointed at the ends. The 015 was painted in this color scheme.

Since the takeover in 1995, SOB has been using the locomotives primarily in the Voralpen-Express on the ( Romanshorn -) St. Gallen - Lucerne axis . Initially, these trains were run with type EW IV cars . From 1999, the trains ran with modernized Revvivo cars. The trains were now commuted, whereby only three control cars received the multiple control IIId and were therefore Re-446 compatible. By 2013 the Re 446 were also in front of the commuter train “Gipfeli-Express” Einsiedeln - Wädenswil - Zurich Altstettenused. A pair of trains ran in the morning and one in the evening. During the day the locomotive was also used for freight trains on the Einsiedeln - Saturdayern - Pfäffikon SZ axis . These trains ran once or twice a week. Another machine was stationed as a reserve in Saturdayern. She mostly drove mail trains on the SBB network in the evening. Since the 2013/14 timetable change, the Re 446 have been used exclusively in the Voralpen-Express. Since that date the Voralpen-Express has been run as a sandwich between two locomotives. Two locomotives are used in each pendulum. In the event of a defect, the Re 446 can also be used in conjunction with an RBDe 561 or a Re 420 operate.


In the late evening of September 5, 2007, the Re 446 015 derailed in Ebikon , which was then carrying a mail train . The driver had referred the exit signal , which was intended for an overtaking InterRegio in the direction of Lucerne , to himself. Thanks to the protective switch , there was no flanking between the two trains, and the locomotive came to a stop between the track and a cemetery wall. You had to go through two mobile cranes are rerailed. For this purpose, the contact line was temporarily switched off and dismantled.


By December 2019, the Voralpen-Express had been converted to new sets of the Stadler Flirt “Traverso” type . The four Re 446 locomotives were then sold to the railway service provider GmbH (EDG). [2]

See also


  • Martin Gerber, Fritz Kobel, Max Müller, Adrian Schneeberger: The prototype locomotives of the Re 4/4 IV series of the Swiss Federal Railways (= Schweizer Bauzeitung . No. 44 ). Publishing company of the academic technical associations, Zurich 1982, p. 947–967 ( ETH e-periodical [PDF; 19.3 MB]).
  • Theo Stolz: Locomotives in Switzerland . Minirex, Lucerne 2007, ISBN 3-907014-31-6 , p. 356.


Commons : SLM Re 4/4 IV - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Locomotive exchange in Wädenswil . In: Swiss Railway Review . No. 1. Minirex, 1995, ISSN 1022-7113, S. 3.
  2. Switzerland: SOB sells four locomotives , Lok-Report, February 22, 2019