Readers Project Siemens Taurus II

, von Friedhelm Weidelich

Railjet cab car and 1116 in Vienna WestGauge 1 needs new ideas to stimulate the European market. spur1info presents a reader's project that could be provided by a well-respected producer.

We're talking about Taurus II, a modern Siemens electric locomotive operating in several European countries in many different liveries.

The Prototype

Taurus is Latin for bull or a constellation. Taurus II has been introduced in 2000 as Reihe 1116 by Austrian ÖBB. Krauss-Maffei/Siemens named it ES64U2. ES = Eurosprinter, 64 = 6.4 MW (8,700hp), U2 = dual frequency (15kV, 16.7Hz and 25kV, 50Hz). In fact there are about eight versions depending on specific country rules and train control systems.

For trains in Hungary ÖBB locos carried three pantographs for a short time. Engines 1116.201 to 1116.223 have a third panto with a short contact strip for traffic throughout Switzerland.

ÖBB owns 282 locos class 1116. They double head freight trains and handle Vienna's airport train CAT and the luxurious Railjet, connecting Vienna with Graz, Innsbruck, Bregenz, Villach, Munich, Zurich, Prague, Brno (both CZ), and Budapest (HU). Beside these engines in special liveries there are other versions like the ÖBB "Mozart"-engine 1116.500.

Deutsche Bahn AG (DBAG) bought 25 copies of the Taurus as freight engine for its short-lived brand Railion, especially for traffic in Austria. The locos arrived in 2001 as Baureihe (class) 182. The high speed engine makes up to 230km/h (143 mph) and nowadays operates commuter trains as well as national and international express trains of DBAG.

Hungarian MÁV owns locos 470 001 – 010. The Hungarian-Austrian GySEV operates 470 501 – 505. A part of Siemens' Dispolok engines are operated by leasing company MRCE and Swiss Hupac. Swedish Hector Rail has 5 units.

A special feature is the gamut sound while accelerating. With wheelsets near slipping even a four-tone sound can be heard (second video).

One more polyphone departure has been documented here.

The projected Model

Several spur1info-readers desire a DB-Baureihe (class) 182 and Austrian Rh 1116 and asked spur1info for support. I think this is an excellent project to open a new international marketplace via a modern loco. Of course this market is still small but needs a boost to keep our hobby alive.

A well-respected German high-end producer is ready to prepare a single run of the Taurus to his high standards. 30 advance orders are required to start the project. There will be several versions depending on the requests with 2 or 3 pantographs and probably servodriven mirrors. Experts with a deep knowlegde of the prototype will support the research and will take care of maximum authenticity. The versions will be defined later.

The price of the full brass model will be around 6,000 € plus or minus about 300 €. The pre-orders have to be paid in advance to a custodial account to ensure the producer's and customer's project. Delivery would be within 15 months time.

Step 1: Find potential Buyers

spur1info and the initiators of the Taurus projects would like to find out how many copies and versions you would prefer to order. This is to identify which versions should be prepared and offered. If there is enough demand for 30 models the project will be initiated and the scheduled versions will be published soon.

If you would like to buy a Taurus II please let us know which version you would prefer to buy (railway company, livery, number of copies). Please write an e-mail to

25 advance orders are required yet. In case the project will reach the minimum number, spur1info will currently report subscribers about the processing of the gauge 1 model.

My images have been taken in Hanover and Neuss (Germany), in Vienna and at the Brenner Pass (Austria) showing a snapshot of a Dispolok and some Rh 1116 engines. Pictures of DB's class 182 can be found here. The German language Taurus-Forum gives a lot of information and images.