Maintenance Matters: Why a Healthy Wheel/Rail Interface is Essential to Your Bottom Line

Much has been written and done in the last ten years about creating and maintaining a healthy wheel/rail interface. Before substantial changes were made to truck design and wheel and rail profiles, wheels lasted less than 20,000 miles; today's metro gets more than 350,000 miles of life from a wheel. The wheel/rail interface is a small area, called the contact patch, and about the size of a dime, where the wheel meets the rail. A healthy wheel/rail interface encompasses two things: ensures that the transverse wheel and rail profiles promote wheel set steering and spread wear evenly; and ensures that a friction management program is in place to lubricate the gauge face and control friction at the top of rail. The article spells out that a complete friction management program means: lubrication of the gauge face of the rail and the wheel flange face to bring the coefficient of friction to less than 0.2; controlling the friction coefficient on the top of the rail to a value between 0.3 and 0.4. The article also describes: how a healthy wheel/rail interface improves system performance; how a healthy wheel/rail interface is achieved; and how much can be saved by implementing an optimized wheel/rail interface.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: pp 54-58
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01002364
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2005 10:31AM