Brandt Shows R5 Power Unit on Exhibition Floor

Written by Kevin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, International Railway Journal
Photo by Kevin Smith

Photo by Kevin Smith

The centerpiece of the Brandt exhibit at Railway Interchange is the R5 Power Unit, a new road-rail car mover that the company says can support tasks ranging from maintenance of way, revenue service and emergency response, offering improved performance over previous versions of the vehicle.

The R5 can operate at 30 mph on track and 25 mph in reverse, and up to 65 mph on the road. It can switch between road and rail operation in less than three minutes and is capable of producing up to 605 hp from the 15l Cummins ISX15 diesel engine, and 50,000 pounds of tractive effort.

The R5 is fitted with a modified Sharon 10-A shelf coupler at the rear, which transfers some of the load directly to the vehicle, which can haul up to 10 loaded cars. In changing track conditions, it is possible to adjust the tractive effort at the push of a button, with the system able to alter the shelf coupler’s position to redistribute the weight between the drive wheels and the rail. A Sharon 10-A coupler is also fitted to the front of the vehicle.

Photo by Kevin Smith

Maintenance of way activities are aided through the vehicle’s Brandt Power Unit Crane Model, which has a lifting capacity of 11,000 pounds at 10 feet. The tie crane can lift up to 3,700 pounds at 25 feet, with a reach of 28 feet. In addition, the OTM Tracker Model powers the OTM Tracker System, a material handling system that can support various maintenance of way activities from a track crossing. It is equipped with a 48-inch magnet and a 10 kW generator.

The Canadian supplier says that to improve safety, an entirely new chassis based on a Peterbilt 567 has been used, which has eliminated blind spots. The vehicle is also equipped with a telemetry system, recording data of activities and performance, aiding future maintenance activities. A night vision system also allows operations to take place seamlessly at night while operation is supported by a newly designed dash display, which provides configurable system information, as well as truck information at a glance to the operator.

The R5 follows the R4, which was developed in the early 2000s. Hundreds of these units have been sold across North America, including to the Class I railroads. Production of the new vehicle is due to start in 2024.

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