Minecart

The schemes for the structure of the minecarts

MINECART FOR THE UNDERGROUND MINE (EN: buggy mine car; DE: Wagen, Kleinwagen, Lore; FR: berline, wagonnet; ES: carreton, vagoneta; RU: вагонетка) is the haulage vessel, which is purposed for the transportation of the cargoes and people along the railway tracks. According to their purpose, the minecarts are sub-divided into freight, passenger, and special.

The major structural assemblies of the freight minecart (see the Figure) are: the body (continuous, or with the openable bottoms or lateral boards), the frame (in case of the framed structures), the wheel pair, the buffer, and the railway coupling (with link, with rod, or automatic). The latter type of the coupling acts simultaneously as the buffer. Depending on the structure, they distinguish the minecarts: with the continuous non-toppling body, with the continuous toppling body, with the hinged bottoms, and with the hinged lateral board. The minecarts with the continuous non-toppling body (the VG type) have got the greatest distribution; the voluminous capacity is up to 4.2 cubic metres (for the coal), and up to 9.5 cubic metres (for the ore). They use the minecarts of the first type for the transportation of the coal, ore, and rock through the underground mine workings, and at the industrial sites, while they use the minecarts of the second type for the transportation of the ore through the underground workings.

The advantage of the minecarts of this type is the simplicity of the structure. The major disadvantage is the unloading by the special stationary complexes with the relatively small throughput capacity.

They use the minecarts with the continuous toppling body, with the voluminous capacity of 0.35-1 cubic metres (the B0 type), for the transportation of the ore and rock through the underground mine workings, and at the industrial sites of the underground mines (with the small productive capacity), of the non-ferrous metallurgy, and also for the geological-exploratory works. The advantage of such minecart is the possibility of unloading at any point of the railway track. The major disadvantages are the existence of the manual operations during the unloading, the large mass of the empty minecart, the small coefficient of the lateral stability. The minecarts with the hinged bottoms are used during the mine construction, and during the reconstruction of the coal enterprises. They use the minecarts with the voluminous capacity of 3.3 and 5.6 cubic metres (the VD type) for the transportation of coal and rock through the underground mine workings, and with the voluminous capacity of 1.5 and 2.5 cubic metres (the VDK type) also at the industrial sites.

The advantage of the minecarts is the provision of the flowing scheme for the motion of the train at the unloading point. The unloading, independently of the orientation of the minecarts respectively to the unloading point, is performed during the opening of the bottoms, during the process of the movement of the train, which is not uncoupled. The major disadvantage is the relative complexity of the structure. They use the minecarts with the hinged lateral board, with the voluminous capacity of 1.6, 2.5, and 4 cubic metres (the VB type), mostly at the active underground mines, for the transportation of the ore and rock through the underground mine workings. The advantage is the maximal (in comparison with the minecarts of the other types) area of the unloading hole, which excludes the jamming of the large lumps of the material during the unloading. The major disadvantages are the complexity of the structure, and the great mass. Within the USA, at the enterprises of the coal industry, they use mostly the freight minecarts with the bottom unloading, while within Poland, West Germany, and France, they use the minecarts with the lateral unloading, while at the mines of Sweden, and also at the underground coal mines of Czechoslovakia, they use the minecarts with the bottom unloading on the supporting roller table. There are being created the heavy load freight minecarts, which are able to withstand the dynamic loads, which are emerging during the movement on the rail joints, and also during the loading with the ore and rock. They improve the rigidity of the body of the minecart at the expense of the corrugations, and of the bindings, which are made of the special rolled steel profiles. They manufacture the minecarts of the steels, which are resistant to the corrosive-mechanical wear. They equip the minecarts with the automatic coupling devices, and with the amortization of the suspension of the semi-axles.

They use the passenger minecarts for the transportation of the people through the horizontal and inclined underground mine workings. The major structural assemblies of the minecarts, which are purposed for the horizontal mine workings, are the body with the walking openings, which are equipped with the doors, the cushioned chassis, the frame with the buffering-coupling device, the signaling device, which provides the signal to the driver of the locomotive from any seat of each minecart. Within the inclined mine workings, the minecarts are used independently, and within the trains, which are comprising the heading minecart, and one or more trailing coupled minecarts.

The heading minecarts are equipped with the devices for the connection with the traction rope, while the trailing minecarts are equipped with two intermediate coupling devices. The major parameters of the minecarts, which are operated within the horizontal mine workings, are the quantity of the seating places, the specific area per one passenger, the size dimensions, while within the inclined mine workings, also the angle of the inclination of the railway track, the speed of the movement (is regulated by the rules of the safety), the traction force, and the radius for the curvature of the railway track (the profile, and the projection to the horizontal plane). The major directions for the perfecting of the passenger minecarts are the improvement of the conditions for the transportations (the increasing of the comfort factor up to 0.35-0.37); the equipping of the walking openings with the sliding doors; the usage (within the minecarts for the horizontal mine workings) of the uniformly distributing pneumatic braking system, which is controlled by the driver of the locomotive.

They use the special minecarts within the fire-fighting trains, for the transportation of the explosive substances, of the auxiliary materials and equipment, including the flat minecarts (on the base of the chassis of the minecart) for the transportation of the containerized and bundled cargoes, and so on.