Wheel maintenance in rolling stock: safety challenges in the defect detection process

Maria Mikela Chatzimichailidou (Corresponding Author), Alberto Martinetti, Arnab Majumdar, Leo A.M. van Dongen, Washington Yotto Ochieng

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    The proper and timely maintenance of railway rolling stock is essential for the safety of railway operations. Inaccurate inspection can lead to inadequate repair of defects and to great safety challenges in respect to the entire railway system. The detection and repair of any defect, such as cracks, in the wheels prior to a failure can significantly reduce train derailments and improved operational performance. This paper examines the wheel maintenance process in maintenance depots in the Netherlands on the basis of literature review, observations and interviews. First, it highlights various detection methods, including the risks of the incorrect detection of a flawed wheel profile. This paper introduces a flowchart as a concise illustration of the maintenance process; that is, both the detection and treatment of defects. With this in hand, the authors, as well as anyone involved in maintenance, are able to identify the points where the process is vulnerable and may be prone to incidents/accidents. Based on this procedure, improvements to the current wheel maintenance process can be proposed. The method that the flowchart is based on is also presented herein, along with the findings obtained throughout its steps
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)387-397
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of System of Systems Engineering
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018


    • Maintenance
    • Safety
    • Wheel Defect
    • Rolling Stocks


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