Exclusive of Russia


A consortium of "Russian Railways" (RZD) and OPK "Oboronprom" intends to present the "Indian Railways» (Indian Railways) its proposals for the operation and possible production in India is unique Russian locomotives running on compressed natural gas — turbine-electric locomotives. It is expected that an international tender for the supply of this equipment Indian Railways will announce in November. Competitors on it in Russia will not grow. But the experience of turbine-electric series production in our country either. Therefore, India and Russia will perform in fact pioneers in the industrial development of this type of technology.
Transforming ideas

Attempts to create a railroad locomotive engine which was not a diesel power plant and the gas turbine, the Soviet Union, Europe and the United States date back to the middle of the last century. But because of the noise, the extravagance and complexity of the design of a wide spread of the locomotive is not received, the mass emergence of electric locomotives (locomotive with electric motors) seemed to finally slowed down the development of the world of engineering in this direction.

However, in Samara — Engine-in center, which was led by the celebrated designer of aircraft gas turbine engine (GTE), General, Hero of Socialist Labor Nikolai Kuznetsov — the prospects are not lost. However, the original idea was different. Samara (kubyshevskie at the time) engine manufacturers historically specialized in the creation of CCD for strategic bombers and pumping units for Soviet miners' blue gold. " Therefore, before they were assigned the task of making a gas turbine engine for an aircraft that runs on compressed natural gas (CNG). As a result, this engine has been created, even though the plane in the post-perestroika times our state was not needed.

But the gas turbine propulsion system for LNG, created in the 90s of the last century in the Samara Scientific-Technical Complex named after Kuznetsova on the basis of three-shaft bypass aircraft engine NK-256, strongly interested in "Russian Railways" (RZD). In the Railways decided that if done on the basis of its gas turbine, in the circumstances, such as the Far North, where the railways are not electrified, but full of natural gas, such a machine would be at least a third more economical than diesel locomotives running on diesel fuel. Therefore, at the end of 2006 the railroad ordered SNTK. Kuznetsova, development and production of prototype engine for the locomotive that Samara designers was, of course, is almost a blessing. This order is the first major order for SNTK. Kuznetsova, starting in 1996, as the funding for defense projects in those years, in fact ceased.
Record after record

Railways, of course, very risky because SNTK. Kuznetsova, left without military orders, rapidly fell into a coma, and many of its employees have already moved by the time the component and engine centers in other countries — Perm, Rybinsk and Ufa. On the other hand, by the year 2006 in Samara has actually been created running on liquefied natural gas turbine engine NK-361 and the power block section of the locomotive traction. Designed the machine itself belongs to the Railways All-Russian Research and Design Institute of Technology (VNIKTI) (Kolomna), a generator of electricity (gas turbine was not going through the gas, and at the expense of electricity that is produced by a generator connected to the gas turbine) designed for electrical Lysvensky plant, and prototype locomotive in 2007, was built on the Voronezh Railways locomotive repair plant-based locomotive VL15-008.

In his first voyage latest Russian gas turbine went in early July 2008. Since that time, he was recognized as the most powerful engine in the world, running on compressed natural gas — 8.3 MW (this fact is reflected even in the Guinness Book of Records). Locomotive can reach speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour and at a gas station travels 750 km. Works very well in the mountains. For four years, GT1-001 set several world records in its ongoing capacity trains. In particular, in the autumn of last year he spent in the ring VNIIZhT train weighing 16 tons (170 cars), which was stretched to a length of nearly 3 kilometers. The car is very environmentally friendly: its emissions 10 times lower than the requirements of even the perspective of European emission standards. And most importantly — it has proven its practical effectiveness. "Scope of the locomotive — this is the northern areas of the country where a lot of gas and electric railways not. Far East, some areas of the Baikal-Amur Mainline. Railways decided that the application of these conditions reduces the turbine-electric railway operating costs compared with the use of diesel by 1.8 times, "- said" Expert Online »chief designer association" Smith "(now it is the successor of the pool Samara engine-building enterprises, including SNTK. Kuznetsova) Dmitry Fedorchenko. Additionally, the uniqueness of the locomotive latest Russian that it can be used not only as an engine, but also as a mobile plant. Drove to the right place, attached to his two leads — and went to talk to the village or to the company.

So at the end of June in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian Railways and the group "Ekaterinburg" signed an agreement on the organization of production and supply to 2020 40 main turbine-GT1h of liquefied natural gas. The production will be organized on the included "Cinar" Lyudinovo locomotive factory. According to the technical task of Railways, gas turbine GT1h must include in its design modern energy efficient technical solutions, meet local and international standards of quality and safety, to provide competitive and high-quality transport services to ensure comfortable working conditions locomotive crews and maintenance personnel. Turbine-electric propulsion systems will be performed on the incoming government structure now in the United Engine Corporation (UEC, is a OPK "Oboronprom") Samara association "Smith."

In parallel, the Railways and the "Oboronprom" began to prepare to participate in the tender for the supply of turbine-"Indian Railways» (Indian Railways). Indians have not yet formulated terms of reference for the tender, as this technique in this country have not yet been exploited. But, obviously, they like the idea in principle, to transport cargo on such machines, developed in Russia, as in the pre-tender documentation there is a clause that this competition is open to only those companies who have practical experience in building turbine-electric power plants, liquefied natural gas. Some say that such an experience has, for example, the U.S. General Electric. But in Samara convinced that the absolute world championship in this area belongs to the "Kuznetsov" and the only Railways have gas turbine, which can fully meet the wishes of Indian Railways.
Do not stumble at start b

We must pay tribute to the top management of the Russian railway monopoly, which over the past nine years, supports the efforts of the Samara engine builders practically, that is mass-produced, to bring to life the idea of a new railway vehicles running on compressed natural gas. "This is really a breakthrough project aimed at the future. It creates a real opportunity for the development of the Russian transport industry on the basis of domestic scientific research "- in 2008 with verve said senior vice-president of Russian Railways Valentin Gapanovich. In fact, this money Railway five years ago allowed SNTK. Kuznetsov "bring to mind" the first power u
nit of the latest Russian gas turbine locomotive. And now, through an agreement with the "Sinara" about 40 GT1h production, project financing for the development of design documentation Railways locomotive also takes over. The Indians, according to preliminary information, are willing to fund development work on the adaptation of the power plant of the Russian gas turbine locomotive (unless, of course, the Railways and the "Oboronprom" won the tender Indian Railways) to the conditions of their hot climate.

Remains open two questions: the creation of infrastructure for turbine-fuel, and the ability of plants to produce engine-Samara required number of power units (Railways in the long term, will need up to 200 cars, Indian Railways — up to three hundred). GT1 on tests refueled by "Gazprom". Given the fact that the next car will be much work for gas and oil, the problem with the turbine-dressing "RZD" apparently decided rather quickly. But the engines are not all that easy.

The first gas turbine four years alone traveled around the country, not only because the railroad had to conduct in-depth testing of the new machines and work out the mechanism for its operation. Railways have simply there was no guarantee that the production of new cars can be run in series, because the engine manufacturing industry of the country all the time held the painful process of restructuring and consolidation in the state Engine Corporation UEC. Now this process is mostly complete, but Samara enterprises, combined into one company under the name "Smith", still suffer the oppression of a lack of money and organizational confusion that reigned here until 2007-2008. If Ufa and Perm engine-building enterprises have become the norm production volume of more than 20 billion rubles a year, then the "Kuznetsov" in the last year the figure was less than 5 billion rubles.

But the situation is changing in Samara. First, it increases the volume of production of rocket engines for the "Russian Space Agency." Second, the government decided to strengthen the group's strategic bombers, "Tu-160" ("White Swan"), so in Samara resumed production of NK-32 engines, which are on these planes. And it gives a chance to Samara engine manufacturers to implement in full and the order for the production of engines "NC-361" for turbine-electric. "The economically most advantageous to make the engines on the basis of a single core. And the "NC-361" is very close to the "NC-32". Now we rebuild our manufacturing output and a resumption of engine repairs "NC-32" for the Strategic Air Command. Accordingly, this production will focus on the production of turbine-engine. " In addition, the company plans on the basis of a single core to produce drives for power and gas plants with a capacity of 32 MW and an aircraft engine thrust of 30 tons (it can be set, for example, the largest air trucks — "Ruslana"). It is clear that it will take more than a year. But Railways until 2020 while only need 40 turbine-electric. Indian railway is, as well as Russian counterparts, at least two or three next year will spend only a test of these machines. So that the "Kuznetsov", DCS and "Oboronprom" has left little time to organize in Samara full production of engines for new and unique Russian locomotives.

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