Measurements of wheel/rail forces were made in August 1979 by the Transportation Systems Center (TSC) with the assistance of Battelle Columbus Laboratories to determine the causes of excessive wheel/rail wear experiences by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail System during its first three years of operation. In addition to measuring the absolute magnitude of the wheel/rail forces, it was the intent to compare alternative methods for relieving wheel/rail wear at WMATA and other transit properties. Measurements of the wheel/rail forces were made at the Washington National Airport Test Site and the Brentwood Shop Test Site. This report describes the results of that effort. The study found that for tight gage, the average flange force between the leading outer wheel and the high rail of an 800-foot radius curve was 9400 pounds, unworn cylindrical profile; 6300 pounds, unworn tapered profile; and 7900 pounds, worn cylindrical profile. For widened gage, the average flange force was 6300 pounds, unworn cylindrical profile and 5500 pounds, unworn tapered profile. On the basis of these results, it was recommended that cylindrical wheels be replaced by tapered wheels and tight gage curves be widened to standard gage.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • See also Volume 1, PB80-212772.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Battelle Columbus Laboratories

    505 King Avenue
    Columbus, OH  United States  43201

    Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway, Kendall Square
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142

    Urban Mass Transportation Administration

    400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Ahlbeck, D R
    • Harrison, H D
    • Tuten, J M
  • Publication Date: 1980-7

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: 95 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00326306
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-TSC-UMTA-80-25IIIntrm Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-TSC-1595
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 11 1981 12:00AM