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Main directions of mine locomotive transport development

At most of mines, especially at those with steep seams, where cargo transportation is maid mainly by locomotives at working levels, there are one or two functioning electric locomotives, which, nevertheless, may provide one travel due their technical condition (instead of work during full shift), and then they have to be directed for charging, whereupon the service life of batteries reduces. Given regular failures of controllers, automatic machines, electric motors, worn-out rolling equipment, which often runs off the rails, lack of maintenance personnel, there occurs a situation, when there is coal that can not be removed. In addition there are difficulties in delivery of people and auxiliary cargoes. It must be noted that at present time the whole fleet of explosion-proof electric locomotives ARV7 (they are not manufactured inUkraine) designed for operation in blind drifts of gas-hazardous mines has broken down.

At mines of Donbass, due to soil heaving, there is an observed tendency for elevation of track profiles that imposes essential restrictions on the tonnage rating and travelling speed of rolling equipment. According to the “Template solutions on safe transportation of people and cargoes in workings with a gradient of 0.005 to 0.05%о”, electric locomotives are required to be equipped with block brakes, additional braking facilities (systems of electromagnetic rail brakes, magnetic brakes etc.), the dynamic braking is also provided. That is why during operation of electric locomotives not equipped with additional braking facilities, in workings with the gradient of the way of 0,021 to 0,03%о, the speed limitation was imposed up to 2.5 m/s, with gradient of 0,031—0,04%s the speed is to be reduced to 2 m/s, and tonnage rating – up to 80% compared to the design one, with the gradient of 0,041 — 0,05%о the maximum speed must not exceed 1 m/s, and the tonnage rating – 60% of the design one.

The specified restrictions conditioned by cargo haulage safety requirements are to be complied. However, it results in reduction of labor productivity at mine transport and, respectively, in reduction of coal production. For successful development of locomotive transport and its elements, the objective analysis of up-to-date technical level and prediction estimate of their design improvement directions are required.

At present time there is a difficult situation at coal mines of the country. The locomotive fleet is almost worn-out, there are no funds to purchase the new locomotives.

For partial restoration of rolling equipment, some mines and local coal machine building plants organized replacement of body, repair of wage wheels and locomotives. Such operations are connected with difficulties and, as a rule, do not correspond to standard requirements due to lack of production accessories, equipment to check quality of operations carried out.

Use of grade computations in determination of rail transport performance, technical level assessment of rolling equipment require authentic information on locomotive operating parameters. However, regular operation and refit trials are not held. Purpose of tests is experimental (authentic) determination of braking, electromechanical, vibration characteristics, real wheel-rail adhesion and checking their compliance with specifications. Such tests will provide for significant reduction of defective product supply to the Ukrainian mines. PrJSC PCF “Amplituda” has the equipment enabling to conduct a package of tests for both new locomotive transport, and that after overhaul maintenance.

Thus, the main directions of mine locomotive transport development inUkraineat this stage are as follows:

-enhancing technical level of mine locomotives at the account of  application of energy-saving no-contact transistor and pulse control system for railway motors. This system allows achieving braking without locking the mounted wheels that facilitates safe operation, and in a scheduled mode it gives possibility for reasonable use of accumulator battery energy;

-increasing the tractive and braking capacity of a locomotive at the account of changing the friction couple wheel-rail. Introduction of materials with high friction coefficient for lining of steel rim of mounted wheels will not only allow to increase the tractive and braking capacity, but also to apply them at the elevated track profiles without reducing the tonnage rating of the train;

-creation inUkraineof the specialized independent center for complex testing of locomotive transport and its units both upon manufacturing, and upon overhaul maintenance;

-development of electric locomotives in explosion-proof version.