Powertrain products specialist LH Group Services has won an order from Network Rail for eight Unimogs adapted for use on rail, as well as on road and rough terrain.
The Mercedes-Benz built trucks are based on 13.3-tonne GVW U423 chassis supplied by Dealer Lloyd Ltd, and have been converted at LH’s production facility in Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire.
The first five will be based across Scotland, with the remaining three earmarked for operation in the East Midlands, where Network Rail recently completed a major upgrade project designed to improve services between Corby, Kettering and London.
The eight new vehicles are joining a Network Rail fleet that already includes 26 Unimog road-railers, all of which were built by LH Group Services.
Tony Culverwell, LH’s Head of Industrial Products, said: “We recommend the Unimog for road-rail applications simply because long experience has proved it to be the best vehicle for the job.
“It’s all about flexibility and ease of operation. Railway access points can often be difficult and challenging, but not for a short-wheelbase, 4x4 Unimog. The truck also offers a massive on-rail towing ability and is exceptionally reliable, while the reduction in emissions is good news too, particularly for operatives working in tunnels.”
The U423 uses a Euro VI-compliant 5.1-litre in-line four-cylinder powerlant which produces 170kW (231hp) and drives through a fully synchronised manual transmission with eight forward and six reverse gears. Each truck is fitted by LH with additional bogies front and rear, to provide guidance for ‘on rail’ operation – these are deployed or raised hydraulically, from the cab.