This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine Issue 3 2023.
If rail operators in local and regional transport want to remain on the road to success, their vehicles have to run economically over as long a period as possible.
Considering the fact that fuel is two-thirds of the overall vehicle operating cost, oil and fuel prices challenge cost effectiveness for many operators. Modern drive systems that contribute to saving fuel and increasing vehicle lifecycles are becoming more and more important. The ZF Repowering package is an economic solution to meet these requirements. But what is a repower?
Repowering means to remove outdated transmissions from existing rail vehicles replacing them with modern, more cost-effective and economic driveline components. The engine and the existing bogie with its axle drives are not affected. Optimised mechanical ratios ensure that the engine remains in the most economical speed range, especially when accelerating and driving at lower train speeds.
ZF’s repowering solutions aim at reducing fuel consumption, thus lifecycle costs as well as at extending the service life of the rail vehicles. Furthermore, ZF drivelines also reduces waste heat significantly, improving the train cooling system capacity and at the same time generating substantially less CO2 emissions.
ZF’s most recent development, the six-speed powershift transmission EcoWorld, features an integrated reversing function and is suitable for DMU (diesel multiple units) and MPV (multiple purpose vehicles) applications. It can either be applied in new vehicles or also as a repower (retrofit) option. The six-speed powershift transmission is particularly economical and achieves up to 20 percent fuel savings in comparison to hydrodynamic transmissions. It provides a towing function as well as a coasting function which can save additional fuel depending on the route, engine type and load condition. Thus, the transmission achieves maximum efficiency and is equipped with a powerful torque converter.
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