Horizontal Transport Management System


Underground Locomotive photograph

Locomotive safety systems contribute to mining industry

Traffic and transportation engineering solutions supplier A&R Engineering’s latest project, in an eight-year partnership with electronic systems designer Embedded IQ, has resulted in a horizontal transport management system designed to provide mines with a competent control system to address all their underground transport requirements.

Established in 1978, A&R Engineering’s latest contribution to the mining industry comprises the 1000CT Locomotive control system (1000CT) – Verified by SABS to comply with SANS 1809: 2012 – SABS permit number 10462/16532

The 1000CT locomotive controller is a complete control system for a wide range of underground mining locomotives and is responsible for various locomotive features.

Locomotive Ranging

The Ultimate Enhancement in Locomotive Operator Situational Awareness: RANGING

1000CT Loco Control System features include the following

  • Remote Control Functionality
  • Proximity Detection System / Vehicle Detection System
  • Intelligent Speed Zoning
  • Detailed Logging – Operational and Event Logging
  • Deceleration and Emergency Stop profile
  • Compulsory Pre-use Safety Check (Static Brake Test)
  • Automatic Light & Siren Switching
  • True Speed Indication
  • Configurable settings as per shaft specific
  • Modular Design / Can-bus Technology
  • Micro Processor Controlled
  • LCD Interactive Screen
  • Pre-use safety check
  • True speed and acceleration measurement of a mine locomotive
  • Manual / automatic deceleration testing
  • Configurable alarm & trip levels
  • Directional speed zoning
  • Front Driven Capability
  • Remote control functionality with safety features
  • Wireless driver / guard signaling
  • Proximity warning (PDS)
  • Event & data logging
  • Track condition monitoring
  • Light switching based on loco direction / handle position
  • “Open system” interface with 3rd parties (in-motion-weighing etc)

1000CT Loco Control System Prominent Functions

  • To handle driver input (control handle, emergency stop, key switch)
  • To display valuable information to both the driver and the guard
  • Controlling signalling between the locomotive and caboose
  • Driving the traction motors for the propulsion and electrical braking of the locomotive
  • Automatically switching the locomotive lights
  • Driving and controlling the spring-effected mechanical brakes
  • Warning the driver and guard of other locomotives nearby
  • Logging of locomotive status and events, and
  • Allowing remote drive from either the caboose or a handheld control unit
Modular Design

The 1000CT is designed to be a modular controller, with each module responsible for a particular subset of the locomotive functions. The modules are designed to be easily replaceable in the case of failure, and in almost all cases, do not require the use of tools to swap out. Every module is logically a separate unit with requiring only CANbus for communication, and power. 1000CT Control System is currently commissioned on Battery locomotives and the Diesel Loco Control System is in its prototype stage where it is undergoing final testing before becoming a commercial product. The 1000D Diesel Locomotive Controller brings all the electronics and intelligence of the 1000CT Battery Locomotive Controller to a diesel locomotive through intelligent engine monitoring and control. Harmony, AngloGold Ashanti, Lonmin and Impala have all made an investment on the 1000CT in an effort to improve the safety of underground transport on their mines.

Engineering Technology

Currently, A&R Engineering is involved in other projects in the mining sector that builds on tried and tested technologies. These technologies include but are not limited to the following;

  • Surface and Underground Proximity Detection Systems
  • Missing Person Locator System (Active and Passive Technology)
  • Systems for Front Driven and Remote Battery and Diesel Locomotives
  • Energy Efficient Charging Systems
  • Digital Information Management and Communication Systems

A&R will always remain committed to the improvement of mine safety through the innovative and easy to use application of new technologies


1000CT Controller

1000CT Controller

The modules that make up the 1000CT Controller is the Display Module, Control Module and Power Module. The controller is modular designed for easy underground fault finding and reparations.

A&R SABS Certificate for compliance with SANS 1809:2012

Design Objectives

The design and development of the Horizontal Transport Management System started in 2007 and the following objectives were set:

  • Enhance safety and the driver’s situational awareness
  • Create an “open system” that interfaces with any 3rd party
  • Provide for all / most current and future requirements in the HT environment
  • Provide an information platform for the Manager from where to evaluate and optimize assets
  • Reduce the cost of ownership
  • Minimize downtime

HTMS Components

1. Loco Battery Management System

This system provides all the features and requirements to the Manager to pro-actively manage and optimize this expensive asset.

2. 1000CT Management and Control System

This system is mounted on the rolling stock and provides more than the current features required by Industry

3. Reporting System

This is the platform from which Management and Exception reporting is done



Reporting Features

  • Detail event logging is done on the systems
  • Every time a user logs onto a system his detail and his actions are logged
  • At least 3 month’s detail is always available on the systems (First-in first-out)
  • Only operational (utilization) detail is wirelessly transferred to Reader-stations or onto customer Wi-Fi or other communication networks
  • Detail reports, as in the case of an incident, is downloaded from the device (Battery Monitor or 1000CT System). The magnitude of the event-reporting is significant and extremely comprehensive

Interfacing with 3rd Parties

The systems are all CAN-bus based. CAN-bus is the standard used in the automotive industry and is widely used.

Hard-wire interfacing is not recommended because any hard-wire interface can be bridged out.

A typical interface is done by getting a “User requirement” from the customer. The messaging protocol is determined between A & R Eng and the 3rd party. The 3rd party device is then incorporated on the CAN-bus system and the required information, if any, is displayed on the 1000CT active display. A “heartbeat” monitoring is established between the 3rd party systems and the 1000CT to determine presence and functionality and is used in the event-log.

System Security

Because the system has configurable values it is important that the Manager knows the system cannot be accessed by un-authorized users.

Control Measures

  • The config values are agreed upon by the Mine
  • This “config page” is stored on a remote web-site
  • Any change request is channeled through the agreed route on the Mine in writing
  • This change is then implemented and can then be down-loaded by authorized users from the web-site and then up-loaded to the relevant equipment
  • Any firm-ware upgrade is automatically down-loaded every time a machine connects to the web-site
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