The old railroad bridge over the River Danube in Linz, Austria was dismantled in 2016 and replaced with a new road bridge, which opened in 2021. However, the new bridge lacked rail access, leading to the transportation of locomotives and rolling stock across the Danube on heavy haulage road vehicles using the A7 autobahn bridge. Prangl GmbH successfully managed this transportation task without any difficulties. They utilized Goldhofer’s innovative rail vehicle transporter combination, which showcased its capabilities in navigating the narrow inner-city roads.
In April 2023, Prangl GmbH was entrusted with the task of transporting a track geometry inspection car of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) from the shunting yard at Stadthafen Linz to the Urfahr railroad station in the center of Linz. Weighing nearly 50 tons, the inspection car was crucial for periodic track inspections in the island rail operation. Prangl’s experienced heavy-haul experts employed their new pivot-mounted “FT SERIES” 2+4 combination with a rail vehicle deck to successfully maneuver the 47-meter-long rig, weighing a total of 135 tons, through the city center at night. This task was accomplished effortlessly. Additionally, Prangl managed to optimize their costs by utilizing a loading deck from their existing fleet, thanks to the versatile combination options offered by Goldhofer’s “FT SERIES.”
The ÖBB inspection car, equipped with track geometry measuring and recording equipment, was unloaded in Urfahr the following day and driven along the approximately 100-kilometer track section. It returned in the afternoon to be reloaded onto the semitrailer combination. Roland Walzl, a heavy haul and special transport driver at Prangl, expressed his satisfaction with the loading process, praising the impressive suspension stroke of 640 mm, which made loading easier, especially considering the high pre-tension in the loading deck and the need to uncouple the front bogie.
The return journey to the shunting yard posed a challenge as the limited space required the combination to be reversed over a distance of around 300 meters to reach a junction where it could turn around. However, the Prangl team effortlessly handled this situation due to the extra wide steering angle of ± 60° offered by the new “FT SERIES.” Continuing through the city center, the combination once again proved its worth as it successfully navigated confined spaces. The “FT SERIES” heavy-duty modules had been thoughtfully configured during the ordering process, allowing them to pass under inner-city overhead lines, traffic lights, and various road signs. The combination’s total height of 4.6 meters was accommodated, thanks to its low loading height achieved with the help of 205 tires.
The final leg of the journey involved driving approximately 5 kilometers in the wrong direction on the closed Austrian A7 to reach the shunting yard at Stadthafen Linz. Jochen Schmidt, Head of the Heavy Haul and Special Transport Department at Prangl, emphasized the flexibility provided by the new “FT SERIES,” enabling them to tackle any challenge, whether it be maneuvering in confined spaces or adapting to different module combinations. Schmidt highlighted the advantage of the “FT SERIES” in facilitating modifications to the transport system without complications and supporting combinations with vehicles and loading decks from their existing fleet.