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ZF Services UK is expanding its service offering

  • ZF Services Nottingham Rail centre has recently increased capability through workshop expansion and specialist engineer recruitment
  • More customers to benefit from “complete range of transmission, axle and gearbox solutions”
  • Expansion reflects growing market demand

Railtex/Birmingham. ZF Services UK has recently expanded its capability to remanufacture and repair gearboxes and products for rail applications, in response to an upsurge in market demand. The company’s Nottingham-based repair centre has been developed to ensure customers further benefit from a complete range of support solutions from repair and remanufacture, to parts and technical support.

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ZF Services UK is expanding its service offering

Manufacturing heritage – dedicated rail shop

ZF Services UK has been trading in Nottingham for over 40 years overhauling and repairing gearboxes and transmissions for rail, automotive, marine, defence and commercial vehicle markets. In 2003 a dedicated rail shop was created in order to service the growing number of ZF final drives requiring overhaul in the UK market.

ZF Services UK now overhauls around 150 rail transmissions and 550 final drives per year for a growing list of customers in the UK, mainland Europe and as far afield as Thailand. This covers all sectors of the rail market including light rail, passenger and freight products.

In addition, ZF Services UK acts as the UK distributor for the ZF Group damper brand Sachs and can provide dampers for locomotives, freight wagon and passenger vehicle suspension.

Building on its experience in rail, ZF Services UK is also diversifying its service offering to include the overhaul of wheelsets and bogies. This has included the successful completion of the overhaul of 212 powered wheelsets for Copenhagen Tram and heritage DMU wheelsets for Swanage railway. They have also overhauled four freight bogies in partnership with Network Rail in order to obtain interim RISAS approval for bogies.

Centre of Competence

ZF Services UK is recognised as the global centre of competence for the reverse engineering of third-party gearboxes for the ZF Group. This allows them to overhaul and repair all brands of gearbox and, where required, create ZF approved reverse engineered parts manufactured to ZF Group’s high standards for quality and performance. ZF Services UK will also provide ongoing warranty and aftersales support for the whole life of the asset including; spares, product support and in-service health checks.


ZF Group spends around £2bn per annum on research and development, allowing ZF Services UK to supply a wide range of innovative and highly specialised products. ZF Services UK can then use its own in-house engineering and design capability to manage turnkey projects to upgrade legacy assets.

In 2019, ZF Services UK will be leading the trialing and development of the Openmatics systems for use on legacy ZF and third-party rail products. This will include the ability to monitor the vital signs of temperature, vibration and oil condition within transmissions and gearbox to find and predict failure. In addition, the Smart Gearbox concept includes the ability to fit track monitoring sensors which can provide infrastructure condition data.

Another innovation that ZF Services UK can provide is Repower of legacy transmissions to offer fuel saving and performance benefits. Following on from the successful trial of a South West Trains Class 158, ZF Services UK is now providing Repower proposals to customers. Repower offers the opportunity to reduce fuel utilisation by up to 20% purely through upgrading old legacy transmission with a modern ZF equivalent. It can also be partnered with a hybrid power unit to provide up to 33% fuel savings.

Rail Plant

ZF Services UK has been working with Network Rail to improve the performance of 4GW powershift transmissions fitted to Plasser Tampers. These have historically been run to failure leading to mainline machine failures, more machine downtime and increased repair costs. ZF is now working with Network Rail to track the utilisation of transmissions and create a planned overhaul intervention to reduce the risks of in-service failures.

A wide variety of On-Track Plant vehicles are fitted with ZF OEM components, including; transmissions, axles and gearboxes. As the manufacturer of these items, ZF Services UK can offer a full aftermarket support package for these components as a direct service partner. ZF’s factory-trained engineers can provide on-site service support engineers to complete health checks and field diagnostics. They can also provide a complete range of remanufacture and repair services in Nottingham.

For more information on ZF Services UK, join the team on Stand S31 at this year’s Railtex, 14-16 May at NEC Birmingham.