Press Release


ZF-EcoLife Rail – Greater Profitability for Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs)

  • More torque for DMU drives
  • Fuel economy, longer service life, quieter operation

ZF-EcoLife Rail is the successor to ZF-Ecomat Rail, the transmission that is a successful, true best seller with more than 4000 units sold. Economy and customer value had been among the essential requirements of the ZF-Ecomat Rail already; and ZF-EcoLife Rail meets these requirements even better. Noticeable fuel savings, a longer service life, and optimum shift comfort – those are the advantages of the new powershift transmission that is currently the most powerful on the market of rail vehicle driveline technology. The torque converter automatic transmission is ideally matched to suit the higher torque ratings of modern powerpacks in DMUs and is able to transmit up to 2500 newton meters. The technical basis is the worldwide well-proven ZF-EcoLife transmission for city buses. The Special Driveline Technology business unit at ZF has adapted the transmission for special-purpose applications in rail vehicles - in particular to suit DMU operation.

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ZF-EcoLife Rail – Greater Profitability for Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs)

With its high level of efficiency and the efficient torque converter, the newly engineered 6-speed automatic transmission ZF-EcoLife Rail, which is designed for torques of up to 2500 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 that only requires a small installation space provides for strong braking power even at low speeds. In addition to the oil cooler which has been integrated into the transmission, a heat exchanger contributes to the high cooling performance of the ZF-EcoLife Rail. Thanks to optimized heat management, the oil change intervals and the service life are extended, the transmission is even more reliable, and easier to maintain and 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 gear set reversing transmission and Rail Drive Control System, the ZF-EcoLife Rail can be 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