As well as ‘conventional’ fire-fighting trains used to put out the flames anywhere conventional fire trucks can’t reach, the Russian Railways have also started rolling out a fleet of ‘robotic’ trains that can be used to fight fires in railway tunnels, and other places where fire fighters can’t go.
The first train was ordered in 2010, intended for use on the mountainous Adler to Alpika-Service railway, the main passenger artery for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Between 2011 and 2015 a total of 84 new fire trains were manufactured, with a further 25 new fire trains to be manufactured in 2016.
The ‘robotic’ part of the new trains is the LUF 60 wireless remote controlled mobile firefighting machine, manufactured by LUF GmbH of Austria, and modified for rail use.
The LUF 60 clears the path for advancement up to a distance of 300 m by incorporating a high capacity positive pressure ventilator and a “water beam” fog. This combination clears away smoke, heat, toxic gases and reduces the intensity of the fire, allowing fire fighters and rescue teams to follow safely. Using state of the art control elements ensure easy handling and high precision operation.
As a high performance machine, it is highly flexible and easy to handle. The very short time it takes for the LUF 60™ to control a tunnel fire reflects in the minimal damage to the tunnel structure itself and its associated infrastructure. The diesel powered LUF 60™ is a rugged machine that can withstand the rigors of severe operating conditions and confines spaces.
The radio-controlled unit has additional back-up manual controls in the event of a power supply failure. High mobility as well as flexibility is guaranteed by a crawler track system, which enable it to go up and down stairways as steep as 30° and is easy capable of “bulldozing” a normal family car out of the way.
This video provides an overview of how the train works.
While some more photos of the new train can be found on the website of the ‘The Departmental Security Service of Railroad Transport of the Russian Federation’ for the North Caucasian Railway: