Since the V 2000 could not cope with the increasing train weights, the V 2001 was created with more powerful engines. The basic structure was the same as that of its predecessor, but the engines here each had 1,350 hp instead of 1,100 hp. It was now limited to just one engine and one transmission type. As the engines were now heavier and the wheelsets had to be strengthened, lightweight materials in some places and a smaller train heating boiler were used to keep the weight down.
The driver's cabs were adapted to the state of the art so that the power notches could now be selected using a hand wheel instead of a crank. Out of the 50 locomotives produced, the last 30 received some improvements. These affected the cooling circuit, silencer, anti-slip device and the Sifa. Since the MB 12 V 652 TZ engine did not turn out to be very stable, the TA variant with piston cooling instead of piston crown cooling was used in later locomotives.
221 136 of Eisenbahngesellschaft Potsdam May 2018 on the Braunschweig port railway
The V 2001 was mainly used on the Allgäu Railway, in the Black Forest, on the Vogelfluglinie from Hamburg to Denmark and on the route between Hamburg and Osnabrück. At times, the top speed had to be reduced from 140 to 120 km/h because the bogies tended to rock. The use on passenger trains ended around 1975, since the passenger cars with steam heating disappeared.
The locomotives thus migrated to freight service, where they were soon concentrated in the Ruhr area. More and more damage was caused by the lightweight construction, because they were designed for lighter express trains. After freight traffic in the Ruhr area declined and the two engines were too expensive to maintain, they were phased out by 1988.
As with the V 2000, many locomotives were sold abroad at the end of their service life with the Bundesbahn. A total of 20 were refurbished in Germany or Italy and then sold to the Greek OSE. these locomotives returned to Germany in 2002 for the Prignitz Railway. Five locomotives were sold to the Albanian State Railways HSH, where four were scrapped in 2004 and the last one only in 2017 after a few years of standstill. Today there are still twelve operational V 2001, most of which are still in use with private railways.