Repowering is interesting: Renewing the driveline with modern ZF transmissions is an extremely attractive option for economic as well as environmental reasons.
Rising fuel prices are presenting rail operators with ongoing commercial challenges. Fuel costs for DMUs (Diesel Multiple Units) account for more than two thirds of the total vehicle life cycle costs (LCC). Ever greater importance is therefore attributed to low LCCs in combination with long life cycles. An economical solution to these demands consists of repowering, i.e. replacing outdated inefficient hydrodynamic transmissions in older drivelines with more modern and cost-efficient driveline components.
ZF offers a series of solutions in this sector. These include repowering with the automatic reversing transmissions based on ZF-EcoLife and ZF-Ecomat. These tried and trusted automatic transmissions have been used worldwide in bus transport for many years already and have also been applied to rail vehicles. With extremely efficient torque converters, the transmissions provide very high comfort and optimum acceleration, possible because all gear changes are made without interruption to tractive force. Fine-stepped gears always keep the engine in an economical speed range; the high efficiency that can be found already at low vehicle speeds reduces fuel consumption and fuel costs. The RDCS (Rail Drive Control System) makes integrating the complete driveline into the train easy and is thus the ideal interface to the TCU train control unit.
ZF offers rail operators a range of axle-drive variants with and without reverse transmissions, and thus complete driveline packages. These combinations reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared to hydrodynamic transmissions.