The locomotives will be delivered in three phases up to 2018 with the first unit set to enter service in the second half of 2016.

The locomotives will be equipped to operate in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy and BLS says the procurement is linked to replacement of older locomotives as well as expected increases in demand for its services.

"Recent positive developments have confirmed to us that we are on the right track and that we enjoy high popularity with customers," says Mr Dirk Stahl, CEO of BLS. "By investing in these locomotives we want to further strengthen our market position."