The new German Federal Railroad worked intensively in the Fifties for a replacement for costly steam operation with other forms of motive power. The high cost of comprehensive electrification would have exploded the possibilities at that time. Powerful diesel powered units were thus envisaged for important express train service. The required technology was already available for smaller and medium sized diesel locomotives. Yet in the meantime, the technology for low maintenance and quiet running universal joint shaft propulsion had also been mastered for high performance units. Moreover, Daimler-Benz, MAN, and Maybach in cooperation with the railroad's central office in Munich had designed a new 12-cylinder power unit with 1,100 horsepower performance. Furthermore, Maybach and Voith developed a new hydraulic transmission. From these progressive components, the successful V 200.0 locomotive was developed at Krauss-Maffei with the participation of most of the West German locomotive builders. The two power units of this locomotive had a joint performance of 2,200 horsepower with a service load of about 78 metric tons. A comparable steam locomotive with a tender would have tipped the scales at about 160 metric tons. The proof of the extraordinarily high level of reliability and practical feasibility of this locomotive icon of the Fifties can be seen in the fact that half a century after their acquisition there are several units still in service abroad and on private railroads.