In the early 90s, the Portuguese national railways (CP) decided to order thirty multi purpose high performance electrics by Siemens/KraussMaffei. The order was placed in the direct slip stream of Spanish operator Renfe, so both manufacturer and operator could profit from the economical advantages of scaling up the production of an already existing platform.
designated CP LE 5600 series is in fact a monocourant version (25kV AC only) of the Iberian gauge sub serie of the Renfe S/252 series (S/252 016-075). Exterior design is identical, the technical concept shows some differences, as there is no DC-installation.
Next to Siemens/KraussMaffei from Germany, also Siemens Portugal SA and local manufacturer Sorefame participated in building the CP LE 5600 series. Sorefame constructed all locomotive bodies, 28 sets of bogies (except those for the first two) and did the assembly work. The first four bogies came from Germany, same for all axles and electrical equipment. Siemens Portugal was responsible for the transformers for example. Delivery of the batch took place in 1993-1995. All machines are property of Comboios de Portugal.
The complated batch was delivered in a silver and orange-red colour scheme. Both cabs were red and decorated with CP logos, and shortened service numbers up front. The rest of the body was silver, the frame of all engines painted in grey.
Sources used: "EuroSprinter, Die erfolgreiche Lokomotivfamilie von Siemens" von Karl Gerhard Baur - special thanks to: João Cunha