We here at Autoblog love the Mercedes Unimog, despite its decidedly low-speed nature. It has to do with all that versatility - whether it's running a front-mounted snowblower, spinning a mower deck, or hoisting a lift platform, the 'mog has a way to get the job done. It's like a four-wheeled version of the Leatherman multi-purpose tool. And now, it can get all of those jobs done on railroad tracks as well, as DCX has announced a production version of the Unimog Road-Railer at the Innotrans show in Berlin.
Thanks mainly to deep ratios in the eight-speed transmission (all accessible in forward or reverse), three-differential locking AWD system, and a torque converter with a stall torque ratio (STR) of 2.5:1, this Unimog can move railcar loads up to 1000 tons. For hooking and unhooking with a single operator, the Road-Railer also has a radio control system that allows the operator to run the vehicle forward and backward from outside the cab. A buffer frame allows hits from 300 ton objects at up to 5 km/h without damage, and also gives the ability to move liquid-filled tanker cars. Hydraulic lifting cylinders, plenty of tool storage, and an optional three-phase generator are said to combine with the Unimog's renowned all-terrain capabilities to make it ideal for accessing derailed train cars and getting them back on the tracks.
We don't know what we'd do with one of these, but we still want one.