Preparations are already underway, and the first prototype is due to be finished at the end of 2015. In addition to a full repaint and installation of an upgraded driver's cab, the locomotives will be equipped with new power converters to reduce energy consumption and new compressors.
The 200km/h four-axle Re460 has been the backbone of SBB's long-distance fleet since the early 1990s. Built by a Swiss consortium of SLM and ABB the locomotives were introduced as part of the Rail 2000 project to modernise train services and increase capacity on the Swiss mainline network. The refurbishment programme is expected to extend their operating life by 20 years.