The first engines from the Canadian conglomerate Bombardier should be delivered by 2013 and deliveries will continue to 2020, Deutsche Bahn said in a statement.
The locomotives, which feature four compact industrial diesel engines instead of just one, meet stringent new European Union emissions standards and are to be used for the company's regional operations as well as Europe-wide freight transport.
Their top speed is 160 kilometers per hour (99 mph). The company and its subsidiaries already have 680 similar locomotives, and Deutsche Bahn called the technology “proven.”
Deutsche Bahn technology head Dr. Volker Kefer said in the statement that the order would “reduce maintenance costs and keep operational uses flexible.”
The order comes on the heels of a different agreement with Bomardier's competitor Siemens to purchase 300 trains to replace Deutsche Bahn's aging Inter-City and Euro-City fleet and part of its high-speed ICE fleet.