Deutsche Bahn, the German state-owned railway company, said on Tuesday it had put on ice plans to tender a contract for the construction of more than 400 rail locomotives, an order valued at around €1 billion ($1.28 billion). "The tender has been set back for now," a Deutsche Bahn spokeswoman told AFP. The rail operator announced in the summer of 2003 that it planned to put up for tender a contract to supply 466 new locomotives in a deal that would likely attract the interest of all major players both in Europe and worldwide. Companies originally had to submit offers before the end of October 2003. Deutsche Bahn had hoped that by tendering such a big contract, that would cover both its freight and passenger haul business, it could secure better prices. But "we have recognized that that isn't the case," the spokeswoman said. The company would now re-examine its needs and might simply consider modernizing its existing fleet of locomotives, the spokeswoman said.