The EC RABe – A Gray Mouse in Cheese Land.
After the end of TEE service and the beginning of Eurocity connections in 1987, the 5 class RAe powered rail car trains now operating as 6-car trains were rebuilt. Second class seating was installed, and the class designation was therefore changed to RABe. These powered rail car trains were given a light gray / dark gray paint scheme in keeping with the EC look, but one that was rather monotone compared to the elegant TEE paint scheme. These trains were run on the routes Zürich-Milan and Zürich-Stuttgart and were soon known as "Gray Mice". The trains' age however became increasingly noticeable, and when transformer damage and axle breaks mounted up, they were reduced to TGV feeder service between Bern and Frasne and were retired by 1999. One of the trains was overhauled and restored in 2003 to the original TEE paint scheme; it is now an historic, operational train belonging to the group "SBB Historic".