Electric locomotive E 11 001
A locomotive for passenger and freight traffic
In the early 1950s, Deutsche Reichsbahn in East Germany attempted to rebuild its electrified network, parts of which had been destroyed in the Second World War and dismantled by the Soviet Union. The electric locomotives retrieved from the Soviet Union were outdated and in poor condition, so Deutsche Reichsbahn worked with Hans Beimler VEB Lokomotivbau Elektrotechnische Werke in Hennigsdorf to develop the class E 11, which became the first electric locomotive built from the ground up by Deutsche Reichsbahn for passenger and freight transport. The locomotive‘s design was a significant departure from locomotives built before the war. The E 11 had similarities to the E 10, which had been introduced by Deutsche Bundesbahn in 1957 and was initially to be licensed for reproduction in Hennigsdorf.
Borrowing from the colour scheme of the legacy electric locomotives it had acquired, Deutsche Reichsbahn initially painted the body of the new locomotives dark green. An aluminium profile graced the seam where the vehicle‘s frame met its body. In 1970, the locomotives went through several rounds of experimental paintwork. In 1973, the E 11 was given the standard colour scheme of Bordeaux red with cream stripes, which had already been introduced on diesel locomotives.