The total value of the order is expected to be around Zlotys 400m ($US 110m) and the locomotives will be certified for operation in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands, as well as Poland.

PKP Cargo says it originally intended to issue a tender for just 10 locomotives, but it has increased the order to 15 due to the electrification of the cross-border link between Wegliniec, Poland, and Horka in Germany.

The first two locomotives are due to be delivered in August 2016 and PKP expects to receive the final unit by March 2017.

PKP Cargo is currently expanding its international railfreight business and recently agreed to acquire an 80% stake in Czech open-access operator AWT, giving it greater access to markets in southeastern Europe.