High up in Japan: Road/Rail Unimogs have been showing great performances at SHINKANSEN construction sites for long years

From 2018 to 2020, the ZAGRO Group shipped 73 Mercedes-Benz Unimog road/rail vehicles of the new generation to Japan. The complete Unimog fleet had been ordered at Daimler factory in Wörth. The 73 chassis were supplied to ZAGRO Bahn- und Baumaschinen GmbH located in the idyllic village of Bad Rappenau-Grombach for the assembly in cooperation with their partner company ZWEIWEG International GmbH & Co. KG.

The Japanese customer Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) is probably the largest customer of road rail Unimog worldwide. With the newly acquired U 423, JRTT modernized its fleet into completely new ones. They bought total 79 units of U1650/U1450/U1400 until 2001, and in 2008, they added four units of U 400, whereby a total of 83 units of Unimog trucks were put into operation until around 2015.

Competely new 73 Unimog vehicles have been used in the construction of the railway lines for the Kyushu-Shinkansen and Hokuriku-Shinkansen high-speed lines now. For this major order, this fleet of Unimog are equipped with the special rail guidance system with articulated guide rollers dia. 144 mm each for standard 1435 mm track gauge.

JRTT received vehicles in totally six different configurations. In addition to the shunting vehicles, work vehicles were also set up with various implements. The shunters are designed for either individual or tandem operation. They are equipped with a waggon brake system for 40 axles and are therefore ideally suited for pulling wagons with rail track construction materials (incl. welded rail bars 200 m long). Depending on the version, the work vehicles are equipped with a flat bed, a lifter for two people, a loading crane or heavy-duty crane. The heavy-duty crane is built on a three-axle Unimog base vehicle (6x4).

In these configurations, all the Unimog on rails are perfect helpers for the transport of building materials and heavy equipment and track construction. All vehicle types can also be operated from the rotating passenger seat to secure enough views in reverse running as well.

The famous high-speed line Shinkansen runs through the country and connects important cities. The line is characterized by its consistently high cruising speed on a rail network that is structurally completely separated from the local and freight traffic. 

The special feature of the Shinkansen lines is that many sections of the line consist of miles of viaducts. Therefore, the road rail Unimog could not drive across the road to a level crossing to track on there as usual in a comfortable manner. For this reason, the new U 423 went high for the first time. Via the flanges specially mounted on the road wheel rims, the vehicles were lifted onto the new line by means of a heavy-duty crane.

The ZAGRO Group team is pleased with the successful completion of this major order and take this opportunity to thank their Japanese partners Y-Engineering Company Ltd., wishes everyone in the land of the rising sun a good and safe journey.