A REVIEW OF RAIL-WHEEL CONTACT STRESS PROBLEMS

Nearly 200,000 defective rails were located on U.S. railroads in 1972. Rail failures are one of the largest single causes of derailments, ranking somewhat ahead of the next most substantial contributor: wheels and axles (bearings). Furthermore, a high degree of correlation was observed between the rail-related accidents and the ton-miles carried, suggesting that a higher utilization of the rail system may lead to yet higher accident rates. The defective rails and rail-failure-related accidents occur in spite of a massive inspection effort and the installation of over 700,000 tons of new rail annually. Not all defects are equally likely to cause derailments. Rail-end failures (bolt-hole cracks and head/web separations) occur most frequently, but are not proportionately the largest cause of accidents. Transverse defects, which are less frequent, can account for a disproportionately high number of accidents.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This article is extracted from Symposium on Railroad Track Mechanics, RRIS 01 130826, Publication 7602.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Princeton University

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Princeton, NJ  United States  08450
  • Authors:
    • Paul, B
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1975-10

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 25-26
  • Monograph Title: SYMPOSIUM ON RAILROAD TRACK MECHANICS PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, 1975

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130833
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Princeton University
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 76-TR-1
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-FR-54175
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 7 1976 12:00AM