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Some Possible Alternatives for Longer-Life Locomotive Wheels

[+] Author Affiliations
Cameron Lonsdale

Standard Steel, Burnham, PA

Daniel Stone

Hunter Holiday Consulting, Inc., Pueblo, CO

Paper No. IMECE2002-33236, pp. 239-244; 6 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


An increase in the wear life of locomotive wheels is considered desirable from the locomotive builder and railroad user points of view. If a wheel has a longer service life, economics are improved due to less locomotive out-of-service time, reduced maintenance repair costs and reduced wheel renewal costs. This paper discusses possible alternative materials and microstructures that could be used for longer-life locomotive wheels, and also tires. If locomotive builders and users consider wheel rim hoop compression essential, then microalloying and increased carbon content are perhaps the most likely courses of action to improve wheel life. If rim hoop compression is not considered essential, a wide range of alternatives become possible including bainitic and martensitic microstructure monobloc wheels and tires.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Locomotives , Wheels



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