The 11-strong Ae3/6 III class of Swiss electric locos survived in traffic for half a century. Conceived as a development of the Ae3/5 machines, the first one – 10261 – entered service just a fortnight after the final such loco, 10226, in July 1925. One problem with the Ae3/5s that was identified very early on was their short length, and therefore the longer Ae3/6 IIIs in theory alleviated this. 10261 was a success, and therefore the next batch of 10 locos to be ordered were not more Ae3/5s, as had been an option, but a batch of Ae3/6 IIIs instead.
Aside from 10261 which had succumbed to accident damage sustained at Grandvaux in November 1968, the Ae3/6 IIIs were withdrawn in stages between 1972 and 1980, with the final one – 10266 – being dispensed with on 31st October 1980, at the grand old age of 54 years and 8 months.
Just one Ae3/6 III remains extant – 10264, belonging to SBB Historic and in the care of its Lausanne area team at St Maurice. It does occasionally appear on the main line.