BERLIN -- Deutsche Bahn said Thursday it had agreed to buy up to 450 electric locomotives worth as much as 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) over 10 years from Bombardier of Canada (IW 1000/241).

Under the framework agreement, 130 of the locomotives would be delivered now while up to 320 more would be bought from Bombardier Transportation over a period running to 2023, Deutsche Bahn said.

The engines are based on Bombardier's TRAXX platform, a system that can be modified according to operators' needs. It is already in use in 17 European countries with 1,600 locomotives, including 700 used by Deutsche Bahn.

Deutsche Bahn praised the Bombardier model for its high energy efficiency, low life-cycle costs and compatibility with train systems used in other European countries.

"With the new engines, we are well equipped to face the different transportation challenges of our markets," said Deutsche Bahn's technology and infrastructure executive Volker Kefer.

The engine is designed to run at a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour) but can be boosted to 189 kph if necessary.

The contract -- which is still subject to approval by Deutsche Bahn internal committees -- came despite a dispute between the rail operator and Bombardier over problems with commuter trains used in Berlin.

Deutsche Bahn is demanding 350 million euros in damages for brake and other technical problems which sparked transport chaos in the capital in 2009.

The German company also has problems with its other official supplier, Siemens of Germany, over delays in the delivery of the new high-speed ICE model.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013