This paper presents a review of state-of-the-art research on rail-wheel contact at the University of Newcastle, UK. The research centres on rail wear and rolling contact fatigue, integrating these processes and their interactions to model the entire life of the rail from installation to final failure. Also included are processes that determine the life, such as railwheel adhesion and lubrication. Better understanding of these processes and the factors affecting them will lead to solutions, such as improved coatings, or predictive tools to assist maintenance of the railways, ultimately reducing costs and increasing capacity.
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Fracture (ICF XI), Turin Italy, 20-25 March 2005