The Mercedes-Benz Unimog has been in production since the 1950s and fits somewhere in between the old-school G-Class 4X4 and the company’s larger trucks. Its go-anywhere theme is even being extended to the track – but not the race kind.
Almost like a Lego kit, the Unimog can be customised endlessly to suit different customer needs, with the trucks being used around the world as tractors, snowplows, cranes, military trucks – and now trains.
The Unimog ‘road-railer’ allows the truck to convert into rail-going diesel locomotive, pulling freights, trains or trams using its special wheels to roll on the tracks, while the standard wheels are used for propulsion.
Mercedes-Benz will display three versions of the road-railer at the Innotrans rail transport show in Berlin, Germany.
One will be for shunting; a low-speed, short-distance locomotive, another for overhead cable maintenance; useful for electric rail systems, along with a third for railway maintenance.
Mercedes-Benz says the Unimog offers “greater driving and operating comfort than a truck”, while being “faster and more fuel-efficient than any tractor”, and is available with “more customising options than any series-produced vehicle”.