At the start of the 1950s the German Federal Railroad's program for building new locomotives required a general purpose locomotive. The latter had to be able to master express trains, ordinary fast passenger trains, and commuter
trains as well as freight trains. The class E 41 was developed by Henschel and BBC. With a continuous output of 2,310 kilowatts or about
3,098 horsepower, these units reached a maximum speed of 120 km/h / 75 mph.