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Development and construction of shunting electric locomotives at Dnipropetrovsk electric locomotives plant (1960's – 1970's)

Mykola Ruban, Vadym Ponomarenko

Abstract: In the article on the basis of the complex analysis of sources and scientific literature the attempt to investigate historical circumstances of development and construction of shunting electric locomotives at the Dnipropetrovsk electric locomotive plant has been made. It was found that during the 1960s and 1970s, the team of designers of the Dnipropetrovsk plant, having strong research and production potential, at the request of the Ministry of Railways of the USSR developed and built unique samples of shunting electric locomotives of the VL41 and VL26 series to meet the needs of Soviet main-line railways with modern high-tech electric vehicles. It is proved that in the absence of thorough experience and, accordingly, the possibility of a rapid technological breakthrough in the development of main-line locomotives, during the experimental operation of shunting electric locomotives VL41 and VL26, several design shortcomings were identified, which led to their further use exclusively on the house tracks of enterprises, and designers of Dnipropetrovsk plant later focused on the development and construction of traction units for industrial application commissioned by the Ministry of Ferrous Metallurgy of the USSR. At the same time, the construction of the main-line railway equipment to the order of the Ministry of Railways allowed the staff of the enterprise to gain valuable experience, which was later used in the implementation of the renewal program of rolling stock of Ukrzaliznytsia. Although today the Dnipropetrovsk plant is in decline, the analysis of historical circumstances of formation and design and technological heritage of electric locomotive construction in Ukraine is of fundamental importance both in the general perspective of the development of domestic transport engineering, and the railway industry in particular. Further study of the history of Dnipropetrovsk electric locomotive plant requires clarification of the historical circumstances of institutionalization of the Special Design and Technology Bureau of the enterprise from the creation of industrial electric locomotives and traction units to the development and re-equipment of main traction rolling stock and specialized repair equipment within the state enterprise “Ukrainian Research Design Institute of Electric Locomotive Engineering”.
Keywords: electric locomotives / Dnipropetrovsk electric locomotive / historical circumstances / construction / traction units / USSR

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