Some locomotives do have steering wheels

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Sit in the operator’s seat of a Trackmobile® LLC Titan mobile railcar mover, and the first thing you might notice is that there is a steering wheel. Of course, that’s because this little yet powerful locomotive can be driven on the ground, when it’s not pulling or shoving railcars.

Trackmobile® has been manufacturing these versatile vehicles in various configurations for yard , shop and industrial switching applications since 1948. There are upwards of 13,000 in use around the world today. In fact, the word “trackmobile” has become synonymous with any type of mobile railcar mover, regardless of brand—kind of like Frigidaire, Xerox or Kleenex—but the name is a registered trademark.

For heavy-duty applications, the Trackmobile® Titan, which the company featured at Railway Interchange 2015, provides up to 49,000 pounds of tractive effort, and can pull up to 60 freight cars, depending upon rail conditions, grade, curve radius, sanding and weight transfer. It’s equipped with a Cummins turbocharged QSB 6.7 liter diesel engine that meets EPA Tier 4/EU stage IIIB emissions requirements and a four speed transmission with power shift manual or automatic outboard internal planetary drive axles with no-spin differentials and heavy duty cast steel housings. Easy-to-understand instruments and fingertip controls wrap around the operator for simplified operation, on-rail or off-rail.

Trackmobile® has equipped the Titan with what it says is “the only joystick in the industry for effortless control of throttle brake, transmission, sanders and couplers. Steel rollers give long service life in harsh and abrasive environments. A pivoting mainframe maintains four-point wheel contact at all times to maximize traction and minimize wheelslip. The steering axle and kingpin have an industrial casting design that ensures a tight turning radius. For operator comfort, there are isolation mounts between the cab and body frames for reduced noise and vibration.

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