ÖBB Class 1018
In the mid-Thirties the first concrete plans were made for electrification of the West Railroad from Salzburg to Vienna. The Austrian State Railways BBÖ of that time awarded a development contract to the industry for a locomotive with 3,500 to 4,000 horsepower and a speed of 120 km/h / 75 mph for this electrification project. The designs presented in 1935 by the industry differed greatly and made use of quite different technologies, but as a whole were not satisfactory. A look over the fence at the German neighbor was very close and a solution was found with the outstanding German E 18. The contract stipulated the delivery of eight locomotives starting in the summer of 1939. The mechanical part was taken to a large extent from the E 18 while the electrical equipment was adapted to meet Austrian requirements. The locomotive had to reach its best performance at a speed of 90 to 100 km/h / 56 to 63 mph; a maximum speed of 130 km/h / 81 mph appeared appropriate.
The takeover of the BBÖ in the course of the annexation of Austria in March of 1938 delayed the design work, since the German State Railroad now adapted the plans again as much as possible to the German E 18. Only the traction motors and transformers that were already being built remained as Austrian elements. The eight units, now designated as the class E 18.2, were finally delivered between February and August of 1940 to the German State Railroad.
Seven units remaining the end of World War II reached the roster of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and were used from 1953 on under road numbers 1018.01-05, 07, and 08. With their 5,160 horsepower they were the most powerful express locomotives in Austria until the appearance of the ÖBB class 1010 and exceeded by far the German E 18 with its 4,000 horsepower.
Since these units were still indispensable in the mid-Sixties, the ÖBB decided to carry out a modernization program on them with new wiring as part of a major overhaul. Four units were still in use until 1992.