In December 2001 Bombardier Transportation was awarded a contract by the Italian Railways (Trenitalia) for the supply of 100 E464 electric locomotives. The contract represents a follow-on order on a contract signed with Trenitalia in 1996, bringing the total number of locomotives of the same type to 538.
The locomotive can develop a continuous power of 3000 kW at the wheels at up to 160 km/h. The body rests on 2 two-axle bogies, each equipped with 2 three-phase synchronous motors in double star configuration. The water-cooled GTO converter is composed of two series-connected three-phase bridges. If one bridge should fail, the locomotive can still operate with full adhesion at reduced power. This configuration and the accompagning control system are Bombardier patented.
This allows service under 3 kVdc line voltage; operation under 1.5 kVdc is also possible but with a slight reduction in performance. The locomotive is also equipped with a diagnostic and operator guide system.
The medium power E464 loco series is mainly intended for regional and interregional passenger services. Thus it is not a high power vehicle, but can develop both high accelerations and decelerations, and is ideally suited to services with many stops.