Network Rail, the organisation responsible for running, maintaining and developing the majority of Britain’s railway infrastructure, is adding 29 Iveco Daily 4x4s to its support fleet. Each vehicle has been specially adapted by Burton on Trent-based LH Access Technology to operate not only on-road and off-road, but also on the railways.
Termed a ‘Road Rail Vehicle’ (RRV), the multi-purpose 5.5 tonne Daily 55S17DW chassis crew cabs will be used for carrying crew and materials directly to site for general maintenance activities.
The Daily 4x4 allows teams to drive straight onto the track, speeding up the time taken to get from an access point to the actual worksite. This helps to reduce the time crews are on-site and means essential repairs cause less disruption to rail passengers.
Prior to entering service, the first Daily 4x4 was put through a rigorous 100 hours of testing to ensure its complete reliability on a section of test track in Nottinghamshire. This saw the Daily operated backwards and forwards, up and down the track continually, checking every component was functioning as expected. The customer then carried out detailed compliance testing to ensure the vehicle could safely navigate over switches and crosses, over high check rails, down gradients, as well as being able to easily get on and off the track. The testing phase also included braking trials on the rails in both dry and wet conditions, to ensure the vehicle is fully fit for purpose.
Equipped with a factory-built crew cab, the Daily 4x4 can accommodate a driver and two crew in the front, and a further four crew in the rear section of the cabin, with each seat featuring a full headrest. The cab roof is also fitted with a series of floodlights to meet the requirements for conducting track inspections.
A flexible bodywork structure allows each vehicle to be adapted for a series of possible applications, with options including a crane and a cable drum dispenser.
The Daily 4x4s have been supplied through Iveco dealer Sherwood Truck & Van and are powered by a 3.0 litre FPT Industrial engine, capable of producing up to 170 hp between 2,990 and 3,500 rev/min, and up to 400 Nm of torque between 1,250 and 2,990 rev/min, driven through a six speed synchromesh gearbox.
The new fleet will support Network Rail’s brief to run, maintain and develop Britain’s rail tracks, signalling, bridges, tunnels, level crossings, viaducts, as well as 17 of the biggest and busiest railway stations in the country – used by an estimated 800 million passengers each year. Network Rail took over the running of Britain’s rail infrastructure in October 2002, with a mandate from the Government to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the railway.