The V 100 was too light for heavy switching work. This was why the German Federal Railroad commissioned a new class from the firm Maschinenbau Kiel (MaK). The V 90 - designated the class 290 from 1968 on - was to be closely based on the successful V 100 general-purpose locomotive. This was not very apparent externally; the V 90 was more angular than the V 100. However, inside the German Federal Railroad had proven components installed, such as the diesel prime mover that worked in the V 100.20 (212) and a very similar universal joint drive shaft. On August 4, 1968, the German Federal Railroad accepted road number V 90 001. Twenty pre-production locomotives demonstrated the quality of the design in hard daily switching work. The regular production version had only slight design changes. By September 4, 1974, the German Federal Railroad had taken delivery of 387 regular production units from MaK, Deutz, and Henschel. Procurement came to a halt, since a more powerful variant was ready in the form of the class 291. Road number 290 999 was a locomotive that the German Federal Railroad leased from the military. It was purchased in 1990 and the German Federal Railroad assigned it road number 290 408. Today, these locomotives are working at all larger switchyards and are also providing motive power for transfer trains. However, they do not have their original road numbers. After installation of radio remote control, the DB designated them the class 294.