In the early 1960s in Poland an urgent need became apparent to introduce locomotives capable of servicing passenger traffic on main and secondary rail routes. The number of steam locomotives was shrinking and electrification was far too slow to introduce electric locos on a large scale.
In the second half of the 1960s a few models of a new locomotive, with Co-Co bogies and electric transmission, were built at the Hipolit Cegielski Metal Works in Poznań. In general, all prototypes differed by engine-alternator combination. The final decision was to use a Fiat-licensed engine and an Alsthom-licensed alternator.
The first locos were assigned to the Poznań railway district, and on successfully passing the necessary tests, they entered service in Warsaw. Between 1970 and 1976, a total number of 265 locomotives were produced. This type served on all main routes in Poland