The Class 232 – Ludmilla in Germany.
In contrast to the West, where electric motive power was favored, most of the East went with diesel locomotives in order to replace uneconomical steam operations. A new large diesel locomotive family, including the present German Railroad, Inc. class 232, was purchased from Russia for the German State Railroad of East Germany in an agreement with RGW between 1972 and 1982 in several production runs. This immense, six-axle, almost 21 meter / 69 foot long diesel electric locomotive with its 6 traction motors has a continuous rating of up to 2,940 kilowatts / 3,943 horsepower, depending on the production run, and a maximum speed of up to 140 km/h / 88 mph. In East Germany these locomotives were used for both freight trains and express passenger trains, as long as the locomotives had train heating equipment. The latter were not installed on all locomotives due to delivery difficulties at the Soviet builder in Woroschilowgrad. The great weight of these locomotives and their axle load of 20 metric tons did not allow them to be used everywhere, and the East German State Railroad had to resort to the classes 118 and 119, depending on the condition of the roadbed for the route in question. The East German State Railroad personnel gave this Russian locomotive the name "Ludmilla", which apparently started at the maintenance facility in Leipzig and is still used with affection today for this locomotive family.
A quantity of 709 units of the class 132, the later class 232, were built and were acquired by the DB AG due to the train heating equipment installed on them. They are still in use in many locations while the other production runs have already been retired or sold. Several locomotives were also given a thorough overhaul and new motors. They currently represent the new classes 233, 234, and 241, and provide service together with the Russian class 232 Ludmillas on the German railroad.