Wheelset (railroad)

A wheelset is the wheel-axle (wheel and axle) assembly of a railroad car. The frame assembly beneath each end of a car or locomotive that holds the wheelsets is called the bogie (or truck in North America). Most North American freight cars have two bogies with two or three wheelsets, depending on the type of car, while European freight cars generally have no bogies but instead have two wheelsets.

Conical shape

Most wheels have a conical shape of about 1 in 20, which amongst other things helps extract the wheel from its mold after casting. The conical shape also has the effect of steering the wheelset around curves, so that the flanges come into play only some of the time. The rails generally slant in at the same rate as the wheel conicity.

Queensland Railways had cylindrical wheels for the first 100 years.

Each wheelset for a standard class rail carriage in the UK costs on average £16,000 which for the longevity of the sets is one of the most efficient in the transport system today at the average cost of £4000 per wheel that lasts over 1,500,000 hours in service.

Wheel and rail profiles

Wheel and rail profiles aren't straight, but follow specific shapes that have been found to follow curves and reduce hunting, and to reduce wear and tear.

Heavy traffic and high axle loads on iron ore railways in the Pilbara cause serious damage to wheels and rails, leading to fundamental research on the Rail-Wheel Interface. This information has been made available to the world through the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA). [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BFW/is_7_95/ai_55850194 Optimizing wheel, rail profiles | Railway Track and Structures | Find Articles at BNET.com ] ]

Hub to rim connection

The metal connecting the hub of the wheel to the rim is thin to save weight. Originally it was straight. However, wheels get hot when brakes are applied, and the straight connection caused stresses that could cause fractures. It was then realized that the connection between hub and rim could be made with a curve which could absorb such heat stresses better and safer.

See also

* Variable gauge axles
* Wheel and axle

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wheelset — may refer to: * bicycle wheel * wheelset (railroad) …   Wikipedia

  • Wheelset (disambiguation) — A wheelset is a wheel and axle combination. It can refer to: * the front and back bicycle wheels (with axles) sold as a ready made set; * an axle and mounted left and right pair of railroad wheels …   Wikipedia

  • wheelset — noun A wheel and axle combination. For example, it can refer to: the front and back bicycle wheels (with axles) sold as a ready made set; or an axle and mounted left and right pair of railroad wheels …   Wiktionary

  • Talgo — is a Spanish manufacturer of railway vehicles. It is best known for a design of articulated railway passenger cars in which the wheels are mounted in pairs, but not joined by an axle, and being between rather than underneath the individual… …   Wikipedia

  • Wheel — A wheel is a circular device that is capable of rotating on its axis, facilitating movement or transportation whilst supporting a load (mass), or performing labour in machines. A wheel, together with an axle overcomes friction by facilitating… …   Wikipedia

  • International Heavy Haul Association — The International Heavy Haul Association is an association of Heavy Haul railways that researches problems with the Rail Wheel interface. Members Australia * BHP Billiton * Rio Tinto See also * Wheelset (railroad) * Heaviest trains * Longest… …   Wikipedia

  • Flat spot — A flat spot is a fault in railroad wheel shapeCausesA flat spot occurrs when a rail vehicle s wheelset is dragged along the rail after it has come to a standstill. Flat spots are usually caused by faulty brakes or wheelset bearings.… …   Wikipedia

  • List of rail transport topics — A list of topics associated with rail transport, railroads and railways. Contents 1 General topics 2 Technology and Theory 2.1 Locomotives (Steam) 2.2 Locomotives (Diesel) …   Wikipedia

  • FM Consolidated line — C liner A builder’s photo of F M model CPA 24 5 demonstrator units #4802 (foreground) and #4801. The B A1A configured units were eventually purchased by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and assigned road #0790 #0791. Power type… …   Wikipedia

  • Fairbanks-Morse — Fairbanks Morse, is a historic American (and Canadian) industrial weighing scale manufacturer. It later diversified into pumps, engines and industrial supplies. One arm is now a diesel engine manufacturer located in Beloit, Wisconsin and has… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.