In Linz, Austria, the old railroad bridge over the River Danube was dismantled in 2016 and replaced with a new road bridge, which was opened in 2021 without any rail access. As a result, locomotives and rolling stock have to be transported across the Danube on the A7 autobahn bridge on heavy haulage road vehicles. This proved to be no problem for the experts at Prangl GmbH, while Goldhofer’s new rail vehicle transporter combination showed just what it is capable of on the narrow inner-city roads.
In April 2023, a track geometry inspection car of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) weighing a total of almost 50 t had to be moved from the shunting yard at Stadthafen Linz across the Danube to the Urfahr railroad station in the center of Linz. For periodic inspection work on the track, which is part of an island rail operation, the experienced heavy-haul experts of Prangl GmbH were commissioned to transport the car. With its new pivot-mounted »FT SERIES« 2+4 combination with a rail vehicle deck, the entire 47 m long rig weighing a total of 135 t was maneuvered through the city center at night without any problems. Furthermore, Prangl was able to significantly reduce its capital outlay because, despite the new bogies, it was possible to use a loading deck from the company’s existing fleet – thanks to the universal combination options of Goldhofer’s »FT SERIES«.
The ÖBB inspection car with its track geometry measuring and recording equipment was unloaded in Urfahr the following day and driven along the approx. 100 km section of track before returning in the afternoon for reloading onto the semitrailer combination. “An impressive suspension stroke of 640 mm makes loading much easier – especially with the high pre-tension in the loading deck and the need to uncouple the front bogie,” says Roland Walzl, heavy haul and special transport driver at Prangl.
The return trip to the shunting yard, again at night, began with a challenge: Because of the extremely limited space available, the combination had to be reversed over a distance of about 300 m to a junction where it could turn around. Thanks to an extra wide steering angle of ± 60°, that was no problem at all for the Prangl team. From there, the journey continued through the city center, where the new »FT SERIES« heavy-duty modules once again proved their worth: Having been perfectly configured for use in confined spaces during the ordering process, including a low loading height achieved with the help of 205 tires, the combination – with a total height of 4.6 m – was able to pass under the inner-city overhead lines and traffic lights and various road signs.
The final act was an approx. 5 km section of wrong-way driving on the closed Austrian A7 to the shunting yard at Stadthafen Linz. “With the new heavy-duty modules in the »FT SERIES« we can respond flexibly to any challenge, be it maneuvering in confined spaces or the need for different module combinations. With the »FT SERIES« we can quickly adapt to requirements,” says Jochen Schmidt, Head of the Heavy Haul and Special Transport Department at Prangl. “For us, the big advantage of the »FT SERIES« is that changes to the transport system can be made without any problems at any time. In addition, it also supports combinations with vehicles and loading decks from our existing fleet. This means that we are ideally equipped for the future and are looking forward to the transport operations that lie ahead.”