Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Challenges in a Field Study of Wear and Rolling Contact Fatigue on Railway Rails

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of The Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance
Subtitle of host publicationWheel-rail Damage: Influencing Factors and Metallurgical Aspects
EditorsJ. Pombo
Place of PublicationRailways 2016 (Sardinia)
PublisherCivil-Comp Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-905088-65-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational conference on railway technology -
Duration: 13 Apr 2016 → …


ConferenceInternational conference on railway technology
Period13/04/16 → …
Internet address


A field study of wear and rolling contact fatigue (RFC) has been conducted in the Finnish rail network, in order to study the predictability of rail degradation with track geometry and loading parameters. Over 8000 measurement points were selected in seventy-six curves on five different railway lines. Simple linear regression was able to predict rail wear very well and the RCF of high-rail fairly well.

Numerous problems have been encountered during the analysis of these field measurements. Since these problems are common to many other studies, this paper is dedicated to the discussion of these problems and suggestions for their solutions. Also, smaller issues regarding regression analysis are addressed.

The problems are divided into three main categories, which are the quality of the data, sampling from mixed populations, and the correlation of track geometry and loading parameters. The quality of the data involved measurement accuracy and the calculation of the degradation speed. The mixed populations' problem means that the rails do not degrade uniformly, and measurements from undamaged rail weight down the results of the analysis. The correlation problem means that variables that are used to predict rail degradation are not independent, which has important implications to regression analysis and related conclusions.


  • railway, rail, Rolling contact fatigue, Wear, Field study, regression analysis, Eddy current, inspection, curve radius, cant

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland