How the track plow works

A special railway plow machine was developed for the repair and maintenance of the railway bed, including the cleaning of tracks from snow and ice. The use of the machine made it possible to mechanize the most difficult jobs with a consistently high quality of their performance.

Given the enormous length of railways and the busy schedule of freight and passenger trains, track plows have been widely used since the mid-30s of the last century. Their introduction has reduced the cost of maintaining the railway track in working order.

Old narrow gauge plow

During the period of industrialization, the plow was used not only for repairing the embankment, but also for laying second tracks, which increased the throughput of the hauls. In the Soviet Union, track plows of the SS-1 and SS-1M models for wide gauge were developed and mass-produced since 1935. For peat narrow-gauge railways, small quantities of narrow-gauge plow machines UPS-1 were produced on the basis of the UPS-0 model developed in 1962 by VNIITP.

Track plow SS-1M

Basic functions

The plow is loaded with work all year round. In winter, it clears paths from ice and snow, and the rest of the time is used for repair work. The main tasks that the plow effectively performs:

  • cutting of new and cleaning of existing ditches, which allows to drain rain and melt water from the railroad bed;
  • mandrel for ballast slopes, embankments and cuts;
  • when removing the rail-sleeper grate on the adjacent track, cutting off and dumping contaminated ballast from it;
  • leveling of the ground when laying second tracks;
  • clearing snow drifts from railway lines and stations.

Features of use

The main design feature of the machine is its large mass and the ability to easily change the geometry of the formed embankment or ditch. Pneumatic or electromechanical drives of the working bodies allow a team of two people to service this equipment.

Depending on the thickness of the removed soil, the maximum speed of excavation can reach 15 km / h. As a rule, at minimum speed, the first pass in the area is made, which shows all hidden obstacles, and the final one, to form a smooth surface. The number of passes can be up to six and is determined on site. The maximum outreach of the side wing, measured from the axis of the canvas, can reach 7, 75 meters.

The peak of the use of this equipment came in the thirties and forties of the last century, when cargo transportation in the latitudinal direction between the east and west of the country increased significantly. The electrification of the railways made their work less efficient, as the overhead supports prevented the use of the side wings. However, the front plows can still be used today for punching snow debris. In a snow block with a thickness of up to 2 meters, a plow at a speed of 40-80 km / h breaks a passage with a width of 5.2 meters.