What’s the best way to get a 353,000-pound Victorian Railways R Class steam locomotive moving? Forget the 1840-horsepwer coal-fed boiler, the new Ford Ranger is all you really need.
And you can’t have one. Everyone outside the U.S. ought to pay attention, though. To show off the capabilities of the new T6 Ford Ranger being designed for non-U.S. markets, some blokes at Ford Australia decided a tow test was in order. Though the production truck won’t likely get a 353,000-pound tow rating, the truck proved it’s capable of handling the task. Stopping the train, of course, is another matter.
How’d they do it? Simple enough: strap a nice, big cable to the back of a Ranger prototype and the front of a retired R Class steam locomotive and start tugging. The Ranger’s 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder diesel, with its 197 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque, is a far cry from R711’s 41,000-liter boiler, but it gets the job done. Backed up by an automatic transmission and four wheel-drive, the Ranger struggles a bit for grip, but in the end, the old coal-burner rolls quietly out of its garage. Fitting, really, as it was GM-designed diesel-electric locomotives that put the R Class out of business in the first place.
Check out the video, and be sure to send your thoughts on the T6 Ranger sales plan off to Ford.