Mercedes-Benz at Innotrans Railway Technology Trade Fair: The Unimog – versatile both on road and railway track
- Fire protection certificate for rail use, especially in tunnels
- The new generation Unimog: now available as the Euro V version for export
- Cost-effective shunting up to 1000 t towing capacity
- Unimog also demonstrates its versatility in the railway sector
The Unimog on rails – this concept from the Mercedes-Benz implement carrier has been planned down to the last detail and tailored to markets all over the world over the past 50 years. At the world's most important trade fair for the railway sector, the Innotrans in Berlin (from 20 to 23 September 2016), the manufacturer will be using three exhibits to demonstrate how versatile and powerful the Unimog is in this sector. The road-rail Unimog can be used as a shunting vehicle for rail and overhead cable maintenance as well as for other jobs on and beside the rails. Customers include railway companies, metro system operators, urban rail and tram companies as well as providers of railway line construction and track maintenance.
Following the premiere of the latest generation of Unimog with the Euro VI engine at the Innotrans two years ago, the focus this time at Stand O/234 in the Open-Air South site of the trade fair in Berlin is the broad range of applications which the road-rail Unimog can offer.
For the first time, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be presenting a railway line construction vehicle based on the Unimog U 423 with a particular combination of features: the Unimog with a crane body can be used flexibly both for infrastructure jobs as well as for shunting work up to a towing capacity of 400 t. This new and interesting vehicle concept can be adapted to customer requirements providing maximum use of capacity and, thus, a high degree of cost effectiveness.
A fire protection certificate issued by the TÜV Süd Rail is also now available for the newest generation of the road-rail Unimog which also permits the vehicle to be used in tunnels - even when in use for passengers at the same time. The Unimog is equipped with both a fire detection and fire extinguishing system for the engine compartment in order to fulfil fire protection requirements.
The three exhibits
Unimog U 423 with elevating work platform and guidance bogie rail gear
The Unimog U 423 on show, with a long wheelbase and 170 kW (231 hp) output, is equipped with an elevating work platform and guidance bogie rail gear. It can be used on railway systems with tight curve radii up to about 17 m, such as tram lines. The Unimog can be controlled remotely from the extended elevating work platform – for example when performing overhead cable maintenance or carrying out inspections. The "hydrostatic" traction drive is a big advantage for these types of tasks, as it enables the speed to be adjusted steplessly and the vehicle to be operated with utmost precision from the working platform.
Unimog U 423 for shunting work with radio remote control
Shunting heavy loads is made possible by the Unimog's unique chassis concept: with permanent all-wheel drive, torque-converter clutch and drive on the rails using the Unimog's own wheels. The rail-specific equipment of the Unimog U 423 on display comes from Zagro and includes a wagon brake system designed for up to 52 wagon axles (approx. 800 t), the rail gear system (i.e. railway wheels mounted to the Unimog which can be raised or lowered as required) and a radio remote control. Low running costs make the Unimog an exceptionally economical vehicle, too: thanks to low fuel consumption, cheap service costs and a rapid transfer to the sites, whether on road or rail on the company premises.
Unimog U 423 with a crane for rail construction
The third exhibit that Mercedes-Benz will be presenting is a Unimog U 423 with a long wheelbase and 170 kW (231 hp), equipped with a railway crane and work basket, rail gear system and a wagon brake system with up to 400 t towing capacity. A clamshell is also part of the crane's equipment. The Unimog implement carrier is an alternative to rail-mounted rail construction vehicles, above all because of its extreme versatility on both rail and road.
Unique vehicle concept for rail-road operation
As always, the Unimog impresses on the rails with its design advantages. Thanks to its compact axle dimensions without a separate rail drive, it can operate on rail gauges of different sizes. Using special rims and tyres, the Unimog can drive both on standard gauge rails (1435 mm) as well as various international broad gauges. The rail gear system, that can be hydraulically lowered, provides for secure guidance on the rails. At level areas of about five metres long, for example at level crossings, the Unimog can easily transfer from the rails to the road or vice versa within a few minutes and thus travel quickly to the next site.
Torque-converter clutch and hydrostatic drive
The tried and tested Unimog vehicle concept includes standard permanent all-wheel drive with inter-axle differential lock and separate differential locks for the front and rear axle, single tyres, and also the torque-converter clutch which makes it possible to tow large loads. The transmission with up to 24 forward and reverse gears enables speeds on the track of up to 50 km/h in both directions. Equipped with a hydrostatic drive, the implements can be operated very precisely and at very low speeds starting from 0.1 km/h. Thanks to the synergetic "EasyDrive" traction drive, the Unimog can quickly switch between hydrostatic traction drive and mechanical transmission whilst it is in motion.
High friction value due to "rubber on steel"
The high friction value between the rubber tyres and the steel rails ensures excellent traction even when the vehicle's weight is comparatively light. The torque-converter clutch available ex factory increases the engine pull-away torque, thus enabling smooth towing of heavy loads without wear and tear to the clutch.
The Unimog's shunting performance never ceases to amaze. It can tow up to 1000 tonnes and is an economical alternative to the cost-intensive overhaul of a shunting locomotive that is advanced in years. This is because the high-performance Unimog boasts favourable emission values, low operating costs and relatively low expenses for maintenance.
The Unimog not only brings the strict emissions standards for trucks to the rails, but also the familiar comfort of a truck cab. The excellent view of all implements, supported by a standard camera monitoring system, facilitates day-to-day working.
Up to four attachment and mounting areas for implements
The Unimog is world famous for its outstanding properties as an implement carrier on the road. The same qualities can just as easily be used on the tracks. Up to four attachment and mounting areas for implements are available. Elevating work platforms, cranes, arms with branch-pruning shears, drive tunnel washing brushes or even snow cutters can be driven via electrical, mechanical and hydraulic interfaces. As a result, the Unimog is equipped for a wide variety of work both on and beside the rails.
Customised, all-in-one solutions with road-rail specialists
The Unimog is the ideal starting point for customised system solutions responding to specific customer requirements – whether as an implement carrier or a shunting vehicle. Thanks to close and long-term cooperation with competent road-rail specialists, the Unimog is equipped as a road-rail vehicle with the necessary rail-specific equipment such as a wagon brake system, a rail gear system and the relevant operating controls providing the best possible prerequisites for a perfectly integrated combination of vehicle and implements/attachments - while, at the same time, meeting the necessary railway regulations and specifications.
Innotrans 2016 – the railyard and open air grounds are the attraction
The Innotrans is the world's leading international platform and trade fair for the rail sector. 2761 exhibitors from 55 countries will be expecting around 140 000 expert visitors at a site which has been extended and yet is fully-booked. Rail vehicles, their technical equipment and interiors, the rail infrastructure sector and all aspects of public rail transport are the major categories. The biggest attraction is always the vehicle exhibition in the railyard and open air grounds. Here too, the Unimogs in their role as road-rail vehicles are regular visitors (Stand no. O 234, Open Air South).
System advantages of the Unimog as a Road-Rail vehicle
- Cost effectiveness: The Unimog's fuel consumption is extremely low. This means low-cost shunting of heavy towing loads compared with a shunting locomotive. And also: a low purchase price and cheap maintenance through the Unimog service partner network.
- Coordinated system between vehicle and the body: Very close cooperation between the leading road-rail manufacturers from the first phase of development right through to marketing. The result: a perfectly integrated combination of vehicle and attachments/body.
- Integrated implement drives as well as attachment and mounting areas: Mechanical front PTO shaft (160 kW), working and power hydraulics and four attachment and mounting areas ex factory, make the Unimog an expert implement carrier on road and rail, while ensuring a high level of flexibility.
- Rapid transfer from rail to road: Rapid, simple road/rail changeover – on a level rail section about five metre long or, when using the hydraulic turning and lifting mechanism, even on stretches which are not level. Road speeds of up to 90 km/h. On the rails, up to 50 km/h, forwards and backwards.
- First-class after-sales service: Unimog service available at more than 650 service centres worldwide. First-class spare parts service using the Mercedes-Benz dealer network.
- Outstanding operating and driving comfort: An ergonomically designed workplace, air conditioning, air-sprung seats and excellent visibility to the front and to all the working areas make the Unimog a comfortable and safe workplace.
- High tractive force thanks to friction between "rubber and steel": the high friction value between the rubber tyres and the steel rails ensures excellent traction and enables cost-effective shunting of trailer loads up to 1000 tonnes.
- Traction on rails provided directly by the Unimog wheels: Low-cost, safe driving on the rails with a rail gear system which can be hydraulically lowered. No separate rail drive system is required, as this is provided directly by the Unimog wheels.
- Environmental sustainability: The European Euro VI emissions standard for commercial vehicles is considered to be one of the strictest emissions standards in the world. Compared with Euro V, it reduces diesel particles and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent and in comparison with 1990, emissions from commercial vehicles have been lowered by between 88 percent and 98 percent