Paul Nutzfahrzeuge converts truck chassis into a comfortable towing vehicle
The Warsteiner Brewery is one of the largest privately held breweries in Germany. But it is not only beer that has to be transported across the company‘s premises located in Warstein. There are about 50,000 visitors per year who want to see this famous beer production site, too. Since the beginning of 2013 the Warsteiner brewery has thus been using a railless visitor train with a total length of 28.65 metres, three waggons and all-wheel drive on the approx. five kilometres long visitor show-jumping course which includes many steep sections, typical for the north of the Sauerland region.
The technical basis is a Mercedes-Benz Atego chassis converted into the visitor train‘s towing vehicle by Paul Nutzfahrzeuge. The body as well as the trailers have been built by Borco-Höhns. Visitors and drivers are enthusiastic about the visitor train. Reinhard Finger, head of the in-house vehicle workshop at Warsteiner Brewery, proudly says: “Towing vehicle and waggons were built according to our very own specifications, and they are really one of a kind.”
The Warsteiner visitor train with its golden-black paintwork can transport up to 108 people. Combined with a lowered trailer coupling, an extremely flexible air-suspended rear axle and an Allison automatic transmission, a strong and at the same time harmoniously working powertrain keeps the unique visitor train moving. A passenger-friendly floor level was achieved by cutting the driver’s cab while at the same time lowering the Atego frame to the platform and almost down to the trailers’ level. Only two steps lead to the visitor train’s passenger compartment, thus making entry and exit easy.
A particularly remarkable feature is the outstanding cornering performance of the entire visitor train when passing lots of narrow ramps, doors and gates. Therefore axles, wheelbase and wheels of the towing vehicle have been aligned to a turning radius of only 15 metres while the double-steered trailers stay exactly in the track. When entering the actual brewhouse, things get really tight: the distance to be covered there is longer than the entire visitor train, and no more than a couple of centimetres are left between the train’s body and the wall. Even the outside mirrors have to be retracted. This is done electrically because tackling this hurdle was already taken into consideration when designing the train. In any case it’s always both thrilling and great fun for the visitors to witness the Warsteiner train passing through this narrow track section.