New, stricter safety specifications forced Bombardier to increase the crash safety of the TRAXX 1 locomotive body. As a result, the TRAXX 2 locomotives that have been manufactured since 2005 boast a vertical front section at the bottom as well as altered shunting steps on the fronts. Many components inside the vehicle were also simplified and standardised in order to be able to respond to customer desires in a more flexible manner whilst also reducing in-house production work. For instance, the time for the final assembly of a TRAXX locomotive has been reduced to a maximum of two weeks. In order to also be able to distinguish them in terms of their fleet number, the locomotives have been issued with the subclass numbers 185.2 and 146.2 to 146.5 at Deutsche Bahn AG. In the meantime, Bombardier has globally produced over 1500 units of this highly successful TRAXX family.
Bombardier TRAXX is a modular product platform of electric and Diesel-electric mainline locomotives built by Bombardier Transportation, built in both freight and passenger variants. The first version was a dual voltage AC locomotive built from 2000 for German railways; later versions include DC versions, as well as quadruple voltage machines, able to operate on most European electrification schemes: 1.5/3.0 kV DC and 15/25 kV AC. The family was expanded to include diesel powered versions in 2006. Elements common to all variants include the steel bodyshells, the two bogies with two powered axles each, the three-phase asynchronous induction motors, the cooling exhausts on the roof edges, and the wheel disc brakes.
The TRAXX brand name itself was introduced in 2003. The acronym stands for Transnational Railway Applications with eXtreme fleXibility. Locomotives were primarily made for the railways of Germany, with orders coming from other European countries including France, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain and Hungary.