Rail track haulage can be drawn by ropes on various gradients and by locomotives on gradients around 1 in 200. Rail haulage has been used in mines for hundreds of years and is still popular. Rope haulages were common in the recent past in small mines, especially coal. They suffer from being low capacity, inflexible, systems so have generally been replaced by conveyors, locomotives and trucks for mineral transport. They are still used, but are mainly restricted to supplies transport where bulk capacity is not important. There are three main types, Endless Rope, Main and Tail and Direct. Endless Rope and Main and Tail systems have a positive means of returning empty cars, Direct relies only on gravity.
Plan view of endless rope system
Plan view of main and tail
Direct rope haulages - plan view
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