Ground rail transport is used for transport of material and persons on horizontal surface tracks or roadways and tunnels of underground mines where the track inclination does not exceed 35% and the profile is ≥10m². Provided that underground roadways are driven horizontally with their life span planned in an order of years, the ground rail transport becomes the most efficient and economical mode of transport with highest transport capacity.
The fundamental part of the rail transport system is a track, which is composed of rails, matching the projected carrying capacity, fastening and anchoring elements, curves, switches and other accessories. The rails are being installed in most common gauges ranging from 450mm to 900mm and wider gauges are rarely being used. Sliding track elements (switches) can be operated manually, pneumatically or electrically by remote control, thus extremely improving productivity and transport logistics. Underground wagons, containers, platforms and support systems with capacity of 2t to 20t are being transported on the rail track.
In cases, where there is requirement on transport of excessive loads in inclined roadways of up to 30°, ground diesel-hydraulic rack and pinion systems might be used. Ground rack and pinion electrohydraulic systems might be used in inclines of up to 35°, however with action radius limited by an electric supply cable. The rack and pinion traction units are operating and transporting loads on special purpose made track sections with a welded rack. The locomotives or power units are using a hydraulically powered pinions for transmission of torque on the rack track.