The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


2021 Heavy Haul Session


Wheel Truing Technology Development and Innovation

Brandon Teal

Brandon Teal
Simmons Machine Tool Corporation

The railway industry has seen a revolution in the last decade in terms of leveraging new technologies to move products and people more efficiently, faster, and safer. Technologies such as positive train control, autonomous train operation, and digital wheel profile and defect detection are all recent examples illustrating positive industry advances. One area that has languished for many decades, though, is wheel reprofiling. Despite the introduction of computer control, automated cycles, and other updates, production time has remained largely the same. To keep pace with the rest of the industry, innovation is critically needed.

This presentation will review the two machining processes currently in use for wheel reprofiling: milling (also known as “wheel truing”) and turning (which is performed on a lathe). Based on extensive research and experience with both reprofiling processes, we will illustrate why milling is the technology with opportunity for innovation and production increases. The presentation will step through the developments currently being made to the wheel truing process, showcasing the results of ongoing testing and looking to the future for additional innovation possibilities.