Can shunt 1,000 tonnes of railway equipment.

Is there anything the Mercedes-Benz Unimog can’t do? The versatile workhorse is employed around the world for all sorts of work, with versions designed for everything from firefighting to forest maintenance. Now Mercedes is showing off the railroad-ready version of the Unimog at the InnnoTrans rail transport exposition in Germany.

Mercedes has sold rail-capable versions of the Unimog before, but this U 423 is making an appearance in Germany with some updates. It can now be exported to China and Russia, and it also now has a built-in fire detection and extinguishing system, so it’s allowed to be used in rail tunnels.

The Unimog has special hydraulically retractable bogies to guide it along rail tracks. Mercedes says that operators can simply drive to a railroad crossing and lower the gear in a few minutes to start driving on the tracks, if necessary, and that the bogies turn tightly enough for use on track lines. The vehicle is intended for a variety of rail uses, including maintenance and inspection, but also for towing or shunting rail vehicles.

Its massive 5.1-liter turbodiesel inline-four engine delivers 231 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, with a top speed of 50 km/h (31 miles per hour). Mercedes says the Unimog can shunt up to 1,000 tonnes of rail cars, with its rubber tires providing motive force against the ground (rather than metal wheels turning on the rails). Versions intended for maintenance use like the one with the crane pictured in the gallery, however, may only be able to tow about 400 tonnes.

All in all, it’s an impressive machine that speaks volumes to the breadth of capability of the Unimog platform.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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