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Finite Element Analysis of a Proposed New Express Car Wheel Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Gregory Gagarin

National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Wilmington, DE

Cameron Lonsdale, James Pilch, Steven Dedmon

Standard Steel, Burnham, PA

Paper No. IMECE2002-33233, pp. 1-7; 7 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Rail Transportation
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3646-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


This paper describes the engineering development work associated with a new wheel design intended for use under a proposed new, 256,000 pounds gross rail load (GRL) express car to be run at speeds up to 110 mph. Initial project assumptions are reviewed, and the new car’s proposed combination disc/tread braking system is described. Several assumed braking scenarios, based upon different thermal loading scenarios including a grade braking sequence to be experienced by the proposed new car in service, were used to determine the braking (thermal) load inputs for the finite element analysis (FEA) work. Wheel stress and temperature results from the various FEA computer simulations are reviewed and discussed in the context of wheel suitability and safety. Recommendations for future work are also discussed.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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