Press Release


ZF EcoLife Rail – Economic Breakthrough and Powerhouse

  • Fuel savings of up to 20 percent
  • Longer service life
  • Compact installation space
  • High power-to-weight ratio

Noticeable fuel savings, longer service life and optimum shift comfort – those are the advantages of EcoLife Rail, one of the currently strongest powershift transmissions for rail vehicles.

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ZF EcoLife Rail – Economic Breakthrough and Powerhouse

The torque converter automatic transmission is ideal to suit the higher torque ratings of modern powerpacks in DMUs and is able to transmit up to 2,500 newton meters.

The technical basis is the globally proven ZF EcoLife transmission for city buses. ZF's Special Driveline Technology Business Unit has adapted the transmission for special-purpose applications in rail vehicles.

With its high level of efficiency and the efficient torque converter, the 6-speed automatic transmission ZF EcoLife Rail, which is designed for torques of up to 2,500 newton meters, has better acceleration values, paired with a great level of comfort and lower engine speeds. Still working with the same installation space, a torsional damper has been integrated in the converter. It ensures smooth operation and savings during fuel-consuming starting processes. The integrated primary retarder, which only requires a small installation space, provides for strong braking power even at low speeds.

In addition to the oil cooler that has been integrated into the transmission, a heat exchanger contributes to the high cooling performance of the EcoLife Rail. The improved heat management extends the oil change intervals and service life, making the transmission even more reliable and easier to service.

The engine speed is kept to a minimum through the use of an intelligent shift strategy for the prevailing operating requirements. In this context, the six mechanical forward gears provide effective help, and the helical gears in the transmission contribute to lower noise emissions of the whole vehicle.

Together with the gearset reversing transmission and Rail Drive Control System (RDCS), EcoLife Rail is offered as a complete system. The RDCS makes integrating the complete driveline into the train easy and is thus the ideal interface to the TCU train control unit.


Georg Ehling

Head of Marketing and Business Development

+49 7541 77-2199