The development and construction of narrow-gauge locomotives at the Dnipropetrovsk electric locomotive plant (1969–1991)
The article attempts to investigate the historical circumstances of the development and serial construction of narrow-gauge electric locomotives at the Dnepropetrovsk Electric Locomotive Plant based on a comprehensive analysis of sources and scientific literature. It is determined that during the 1960s and 1990s the staff of the Special Design and Technology Bureau of the Dnipropetrovsk Plant, having a strong research and production potential, developed and created projects of unique narrow-gauge electric locomotives of PEU 1 series (IELNG1 – industrial narrow-gauge electric locomotive type 1) and PEU 2 (IELNG2 – industrial narrow-gauge electric locomotive type 2) to meet the needs of the Soviet mining industry in the complex mining and geological conditions of Central Asia with modern high-tech electric vehicles. The development of the research and production base of the machine-building enterprise is traced, the production nomenclature of which, originally represented exclusively by electric locomotives and traction units for industrial purposes, was expanded to the production of main traction rolling stock and special repair equipment. It was found that due to the economic crisis of the CIS countries in the first half of the 1990s, the rupture of economic ties of the former Soviet republics and the lack of need for such equipment on electrified access roads of narrow-gauge Ukrainian mining enterprises all work on designing promising projects and serial production of narrow-gauge electric locomotives at the Dnipropetrovsk Electric Locomotive Plant were stopped, and the Special Design and Technology Bureau of the enterprise, having received a state order, was reorganized into the Ukrainian Research Design Institute of Electric Locomotive Construction and focused on the development of main wide-gauge locomotive fleet of the railway network of Ukraine. Despite the fact that the Ukrainian Research Design Institute of Electric Locomotive has been liquidated and the Dnipropetrovsk plant is in decline, taking into account the historical experience of electric locomotive building in Ukraine is of fundamental importance in the general perspective of Ukrainian transport engineering and the domestic railway industry in particular. Further study of the history of Dnipropetrovsk Electric Locomotive Plant requires analysis of the historical circumstances of the institutionalization of the Special Design and Technology Bureau of the enterprise from the creation of shunting electric locomotives and traction units for industrial purposes to the development and re-equipment of main traction rolling stock and specialized repair equipment within the state enterprise «Ukrainian Research Design Institute of Electric Locomotive Engineering» under the leadership of Academician Victor Bratash.