Automatic washing facility for locomotives in Chelyabinsk operating engine house is being prepared for winter closing down

7.10.2011

Sparkling clean electric locomotive for 50 minutes

"I believe we will be able to work for another week”, says Artyom Abrosimov, Operating Technician of the automatic washing facility. "Usually we close down at once when the night temperature settles below zero. Moreover, as early as the next morning after the first frost the facility is already shut. The matter is that the washing system comprises many narrow junction pipes. If we run the locomotive wash after the water freezes in these pipes, it will damage the hoses. The equipment is Italian, so you can imagine how long we will have to look for spare parts and how much they will cost”.

The washing facility has been working for four seasons already, and all this time it has been managed and maintained by Artyom and two his workmates. To become operating technicians, these guys had to penetrate into nuances of the whole system composition for four months. They were trained by the manufacturer representatives from Italy during the assembly of this washing machine in 2008. At that time the facility was opened in the beginning of autumn and has been working for only month and a half before winter preservation.

Each shift of the operating technician lasts for 24 hours. During this time 5-6 locomotives pass through the wash, and work continues even at night. You will need about an hour and 10 kilograms of chemical agents to clean one locomotive from contamination. Electrical locomotives are washed by acid solution, and alkaline solution is used for diesel locomotives. Operating technician fills the corresponding detergent into special containers of the washing facility for each type of locomotive. Then he sets the required washing program at the operating console. The program parameters depend on the type of locomotive to be washed. Then a special frame gantry with spray nozzles begins to move along the locomotive and disperses alkaline or acid solution. When the frame gantry returns to its initial position, the brushes switch on, and the gantry repeats its track. In the final stage of the wash this gantry moves along the locomotive for the third time and sprays water under high pressure to flush away all the mud.

"I have washing cost estimates for each type of electrical or diesel locomotives”, Artyom Abrosimov continues, "These estimates include the exact quantity of solutions up to milliliters, and also their prices. For example, CHS7 electrical locomotive wash will cost 7 107 (seven thousand one hundred and seven) rubles. Diesel locomotive wash would run for about three thousand rubles to the Railways. Surely these prices cannot be compared with the car wash prices. Now the workload is less, and we are preparing for closing down. We will open the wash facility again next spring, as usual in April.”

Source: “Gudok” (“Horn”) Newspaper


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