Skip to main content

Dynamic simulation of iron ore wagons and locomotives



Photo: Saeed Hossein Nia
Damaged wheel

Both the iron ore wagons and the locomotives suffer today from wheel damage, especially during winter. The wheel damage rate will likely rise if the axle load of the wagons is further increased. If reliable simulation models of both wagons and locomotives exist, measures like changed wheels profiles or changes in bogie design can be tested with help of simulations before on-track tests are performed. By optimizing the system parameters, the maintenance costs both for vehicles and the track can be reduced.


To develop validated simulation models of iron ore wagons and locomotives in order to optimize the vehicle track interaction. The main goal is to reduce the operation cost of the iron ore traffic. The project is carried out in close collaboration with Luleå Technical University.

Research Direction

  • Investigation of the root causes of rolling contact fatigue on the wheels of the iron ore wagons especially during winter will be done.
  • The reasons for wheel damages on the locomotives will be studied together with Bombardier. Suggestions for measures to reduce the amount of wheel damage shall be made.
  • Optimisation of wheel and rail profiles to minimise cost caused by wear and rolling contact fatigue will be carried out.
  • The influence of an increase of axle load beyond 30 tons on the wheel-rail interface will be investigated. It is very important to keep the level of mainenace costs on a reasonable level if the axle loads are further increased.
  • To increase capacity on the line, it is desirable to increase train speed at least for empty trains. Whether this is possible or not can also be investigated with the models to be developed.



  •  Hossein Nia S: . Master of Science Thesis, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, BTH, ISRN BTH-AMT-EX--2011/D-04--SE, Karlskrona, Sweden, 2011.