The Fuso Canter 4x4 is entering a completely new area of operations in Great Britain – the British rail network. London-based Network Rail, which has been responsible for the maintenance of the railway infrastructure in Great Britain since October 2002, is for the first time using 20 specially equipped Fuso Canter 4x4 trucks for track maintenance and repairs.
For this purpose the 6.5-tonners have been additionally equipped with hydraulically lowerable railway wheels ahead of the front axle and behind the rear axle. This means that the Canter 4x4s with crew cabs are capable of carrying a full maintenance crew plus a load and equipment both on the road and on the rails.
The conversion work was carried out by the specialist bodybuilder Gos Tool & Engineering in Blaenavon (South Wales).
In addition to the railway wheels, six vehicles were equipped with a crane body to render them capable of lowering and lifting the heavy sleepers and rails during track maintenance work. The other 14 vehicles were equipped with a box body to carry all the tools required for welding work. The conversion work to the single-tyred rear axle was to a design by the British bodybuilder following a special customer request.
The Fuso Canter 6C18D 4x4 is the ideal truck for this purpose. Thanks to the low vehicle level, the additional railway wheels can be installed with relatively little adaptation work. Moreover, despite its compact exterior dimensions and the installation of a crew cab, the vehicle still has sufficient room for the respective bodies.
The speedy arrival of the Canter 4x4s with special track maintenance bodies at the scene of operations is ensured by a four-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 2,998cc and an output of 129kW at 3,500 rpm. The engine torque, which is distributed to both the front and rear axles in the 4x4, and therefore ensures excellent traction, is 430Nm available from 1,600 rpm.
The vehicle’s speed is of lesser importance when it comes to repairs. Instead being “fast on the scene” refers to the great flexibility of the Canter 4x4. It means that road-going vehicles which were previously used to carry repair materials to loading points are now completely redundant. As the special Canter trucks can travel by both road and rail, they are able to cover all logistical requirements.
With the new Canter 4x4 vehicles, Network Rail is not only relieving the daily workload of its repair teams, but also benefitting from improved efficiency and lower operating costs.
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