2023 Rail Transit Session


Alstom’s Wheel Rail Interface Study: how to determine optimal wheel profile for wheels & rails life optimization and reduction of noise

Arne Pfeil

Arne Pfeil

The study aims to optimize the wheel/rail interface to minimize wheel and rail wear, improve fleet availability, reduce operating costs, and eliminate noise. In this approach, the vehicle manufacturer works with the customer to analyze the existing conditions situation will be analyzed, and develop a new optimized wheel/rail-interface. In addition to the customer-specific optimization of the contact geometric parameters (such as rolling radius difference, conicity, specific pressure), this study includes the analysis and optimization of wheel reprofiling and rail grinding strategy, flange lubrication, top-of- rail friction modifiers and wheel/rail materials.

In order to exclude any financial risk for the customer, Alstom has implemented a “shared benefit” model, where financial benefits are shared amongst the stakeholders. The study is/was performed at more than 30 mainline, metro, and tram customers worldwide.