Today, diesel locomotives travel with might and main on the railways of Russia and the CIS countries. However, how many people know what this machine is? To deal with this issue, below will be a description of the diesel locomotive and its characteristics.
The most powerful diesel locomotive in operation today and the most powerful models that were (or are being) produced in Russia will also be presented.
What is a diesel locomotive?
Diesel locomotive is an autonomous locomotive powered by an internal combustion engine. Diesel locomotives began to be used on the territory of the USSR in 1924 - then they came to replace obsolete steam locomotives. They also became "assistants" of electric locomotives, which could no longer cope with the rapidly growing freight and passenger traffic. In addition, the operation of electric locomotives required large expenditures for the electrification of the track.
By transmission type, all diesel locomotives are divided into the following types:
- with power transmission;
- with hydraulic transmission;
- with manual transmission.
The characteristics of a diesel locomotive usually depend on its purpose. SoThus, for equipment designed to transport cargo, traction is in the first place. For passenger models, high speed is more important.
The most powerful diesel locomotive in operation
The most powerful diesel locomotive in the world, which is still in operation today, is the EMD DDA40X. It was built in the USA. It is considered not only the most powerful, but also the longest and heaviest model in the world.
This locomotive was produced from 1969 to 1971. During this time, only 57 units of equipment were produced. To date, only one model EMD DDA40X (No. 6936) continues to operate - you can meet it on the roads of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Diesel locomotives of the series began to be produced due to the fact that in the 1950s the Union Pacific Railroad began to massively remove steam locomotives from work, since at that time the active introduction of diesel locomotives and electric locomotives began. The main task of the company at that time was to obtain diesel locomotives with the power of the best steam locomotives (at that time they were Big Boy locomotives). Already 20 years later, EMD was given an order for the construction of single-section diesel locomotives with a capacity of at least 6300 hp. s.
The most powerful Russian locomotives
It is also worth noting the most powerful domestically produced thermal locomotives:
- 4ТЭ130 (four platforms 12,000 hp). The most powerful diesel locomotive of the USSR was intended, of course, for the BAM (Baikal-Amur Mainline). However, the car did not correspond to the features of BAM, which is why it was firstdisbanded into 2 trains, and later completely written off for scrap.
- 2TE121 (two platforms, 8000 hp). 2TE121 is the most powerful diesel locomotive in Russia, which can still be found today. It became the first where the power of one section exceeded 4000 hp. with. Models of the series are actively used today, however, after the service life they are decommissioned, as they require expensive repairs.
- 2TE10L (two platforms, 6000 hp). Despite the fact that this diesel locomotive has less power when compared with 2TE121, it still went into mass production. Its main difference is that, having the same dimensions and weight compared to its counterparts, it manages to pull trains 1.5 times heavier.
- VL8 (one platform, 4200 hp). The diesel locomotive VL8 was operated for almost half a century - from the 1950s to the 2000s. Its main advantage is that, with its low weight of 180 tons (other models had a mass of 220 tons or more), it had a huge power of 4200 hp. s.
- TE3 (two platforms, 4000 hp). TE3 began to be produced in 1950, when steam locomotives were still actively driving along the roads of the USSR. Over the course of 20 years, it was this massive machine that gradually replaced steam technology with thermal technology.
The fastest diesel locomotive in the world is the TEP80 model, which was produced in the USSR from 1988 to 1989. The collapse of the USSR greatly influenced the release of the series, in connection with which only 2 models were produced. Despite this, structural elements of the TEP80 later began to be used to design new Russian trains.
The TEP80 was equipped with a four-stroke V-shaped turbocharged engine with a capacity of 6000 hp. with. It was he who allowed the car to accelerate to a record 271 km / h. This speed is considered the highest in the world among diesel locomotives. In addition, 271 km/h is the speed record for Russian and CIS railways.
The machinist Alexander Mankevich managed to disperse this heaviest locomotive to such a speed on October 5, 1993. Unfortunately, TEP80 was not listed in the Guinness Book of Records, and its speed is considered to be declared by the manufacturer.