The prototype of the BR 50 reached a top speed of 788 kW (1070 hp), weighed 85 t and was able to reach a maximum speed of 60 km/h when driving back and forwards. Approximately 1250 locomotives of this series hauled freight and passenger trains on steep sections and branch lines. The locomotive was also very often used for heavy shunting services and was specialized in pushing wagons on and over humps. Both German railway administrations stopped operating the BR 50 and the last locomotives were scrapped at the beginning of the 1970s. The last locomotives of the DR (East) were stationed at the railway depot in Suhl. The locomotive became famous when it started to operate on the mountain railway lines in the Thuringian Forest.