The diesel generator set on the TE5 is not enclosed in a hood. Instead, it is placed in a car body and a boiler is provided for heating the cab and the machine room. The TE5 is designed to run short hood forward. The other structures, and thus the traction characteristics, are no different from the TE1.
Two TE5 (according to some information, five) were built within the TE1 series, numbers 031 and 032. Initially, the TE5 locomotives worked in the Moscow passenger depot of the Moscow-Kursk railway. They were later in 1949 sent to the depot of the Northern Railway for testing. The TE5 did not go into series production because of the advent of the more modern TE2 (ТЭ2) locomotive.