Expanding the Shinkansen with Unimog power.

Special road-rail vehicles assist in the expansion of the high-speed rail network.

Shinkansen, the Japanese high-speed rail network, is considered to be one of the safest in the world. The trains, which carry the same name as the high-speed network, stand out thanks to their travelling speed up to max. 320 km/h. Expansion of the Shinkansen network is continuous.

Complex rerailing.

At Shinkansen construction sites in Japan, deliveries of Unimog started in 1993 for Hokuriku-Shinkansen (Takasaki - Nagano) and total 83 units were used.  The vehicle fleet was modernised for the construction of the Kyushu-Shinkansen (Takeo Onsen - Nagasaki) and Hokuriku-Shinkansen (Kanazawa - Tsuruga) lines and were replaced by 73 new Unimog road-railers from the current model series of implement carriers. The Japanese high-speed network is completely independent from the road infrastructure and large sections of it are elevated. As a consequence, getting on track with a road-railer is a bigger challenge and more spectacular compared to other networks with railroad crossings – they are lifted onto the rail track by a heavy-duty crane.

Something for every use.

The new Unimog, based on the U 423, are equipped with a rail guiding system and rail technology produced by ZAGRO Bahnund Baumaschinen GmbH. In total six different vehicle variants are in operation at the track construction sites. These are, for example, shunting vehicles with a wagon braking system for towing wagons with construction heavy materials – including welded rail sections with a length of 200 m, shunting vehicles with a loading crane, tandem shunting vehicles which achieve a significant increase in traction by coupling two Unimog, vehicles with an elevating work platform for assembly work in tunnel sections as well as Unimog vehicles with a loading platform.

With your own wheels on the rail.

The U 423 with trailing axle (6x4) and a large crane which positions steel masts for the overhead lines are also important at the construction sites, where great improvements of work efficiency have been introduced. All of the Unimog are equipped with a torque converter clutch which enables the vehicles to pull away – wear-free – with heavy trailer loads. Furthermore the vehicles are equipped ex works with special rims and tyres so that every Unimog can drive on the rails with its own wheels; this provides for optimum traction and braking power.

A decisive advantage on Japanese construction sites.

The Unimog road-railers have a decisive advantage over railbound vehicles at the Shinkansen construction sites in Japan: they are already in operation on the track before the rails are laid. In this phase the rail axles are raised hydraulically and the Unimog move on the concrete track on their tyres. As soon as the rails are laid, the Unimog road-railers convert to fully-fledged rail vehicles by hydraulically lowering their rail axles.

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