Partnership Between Allison Transmission and Dotto Trains Reaches New Heights

Dotto Trains once again chooses Allison fully automatic transmissions for their new “Big Boy” tourist train. The tourist trains of Tarquinia and the Island of Elba have never been so comfortable.

TURIN, Italy, 11 November 2021 – Allison Transmission, a leading designer and manufacturer of conventional and electrified vehicle propulsion solutions and the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions for commercial and defense vehicles, and Dotto Trains, a world leader in the production of tourist trains, have renewed their partnership with the introduction of Dotto’s latest model, the “Big Boy” equipped with an Allison fully automatic transmission. The partnership began in 2012, when the Italian company created the automatic version of its flagship tourist train model, the Muson River 2x4, which is widely used in theme parks, tourist resorts and holiday villages all over the world.

"The combination of Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) engines and Allison transmissions has always been a success on our vehicles. In Allison we immediately found a reliable partner, with the possibility of having support at an international level," said Sabrina Carraro, CEO of Dotto Trains. "If we take the trains to Australia or America, Allison support is close by. Even if we haven't actually needed it, the customer feels reassured, and that's a strength."

"The comfort that an automatic transmission is able to offer passengers also contributed to Dotto's decision," said Fausto Rebuffoni, CEO of Ofira Italiana, Allison's Italian distributor. "With an Allison there are no slowdowns and jolts typical of gear changes with a manual transmission, especially on urban journeys."

Passion and technology
Many years have passed since the first small train was built out of pure passion by Ivo Dotto in 1962. Shortly afterwards, the idea of turning it into a means of transport that every city in the world could have become a reality. Today, the company in Castelfranco Veneto (TV), which is still run by the family, is internationally renowned and exports tourist trains all over the world, on rails for theme parks, and without for cities.

On average, between 40 and 50 trains are produced each year on commission, thanks to the brand's reputation for reliability and the almost tailor-made customization of the various models. Among the latest is a “supertrain” for Dubai, with modern lines, air conditioning and spacious, luxurious carriages.

"The company started out as a hobby but then evolved, research and development today are a constant to meet the continuous changes in legal requirements and the needs of our customers with technological innovations, and the use of Allison transmissions is one of these," said Sabrina Carraro, Ivo's granddaughter. "Today we want to focus on sustainable mobility, with vehicles with lower emissions for public transport and a very low environmental impact."

The company used to mainly export its products abroad because of regulatory blocks in Italy, where the circulation of these trains was only allowed starting in 2007. Today market shares are divided among 70% Europe and 30% the rest of the world.

"Today, many Italian towns and cities are finally realizing the usefulness of these means of transport. The train can be used for tourist activities, and has a different appeal compared to a coach," said Roberta Santi, Sabrina Carraro's daughter and the company's marketing manager. "In addition, the train's technical features are useful in historic cities and thanks to a powerful engine and fully automatic transmissions, you can go on more or less impervious routes and on porphyry cobbles without difficulties."

The Big Boy Dotto for tourism in Etruscan Tarquinia (in Lazio) and the Isle of Elba, in Tuscany
Starting in 2020, Allison transmissions were also fitted on the latest Dotto train, the “Big Boy.” In Italy, the first train was sold to the company Eusepi Trasporti, which works for the municipality of Tarquinia (central Italy) where it has been working since December 2020. A second one is now used to transport tourists in the Mine Park on the island of Elba, in Tuscany.

"We also wish drivers to be comfortable, and the automatic transmission first and foremost has the ability to give smoothness, driveability and ease of use on these rough routes, with high gradients. The Allison handles these situations best," said Carraro.

Dotto’s “Big Boy” started working in Tarquinia last December but did most of its work last summer. Tarquinia is the oldest and most important Etruscan city-state and has many tourists. The historic centre has significant gradients, some over 25%, and streets covered in “sampietrini”, a pebbled pavement on which other public transport has difficulty climbing. The “Big Boy,” on the other hand, has no difficulty at all, combining a powerful FPT engine of 158 hp at 2500 rpm and 4500 cc displacement with 580 Nm of torque with the Allison 2500 Series 5-speed fully automatic transmission, maximizing performance and minimizing emissions.

The three wagons can carry 20 people each for almost 12 tonnes to tow. "The drivers are happy, the ride is comfortable and the passengers are comfortable, there are no jolts," said Carraro.

The second “Big Boy,” with colors that recall and blend in with the surrounding area of the Elba Island Mining Park, was delivered before the start of the summer and went into operation during the busiest time of the summer season, alongside the previous model with a manual gearbox.

"After an initial comparison, the new “Big Boy,” compared to the manual model in operation, is capable of enhancing the routes within the park even on the steepest slopes in slippery terrain and at full load without any fatigue. At the same time, it guarantees a more comfortable ride, both for drivers and visitors, thanks to the smoothness provided by the use of Allison transmissions," said Carraro.

In fact, Allison fully automatic transmissions are synonymous with ease of operation and control, smooth acceleration and silence for unparalleled ride comfort. Allowing Dotto Trains customers the ability to enjoy unrivalled landscapes and attractions in unrivalled comfort.

12 Nov, 2021