Review of wheel-rail interface guide

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A Good Practice Guide for Managing the Wheel-Rail Interface of light rail and tramway systems has been revised and revived to enhance safety across the sector.

The Light Rail Safety and Standards Board collaborated with the Institute of Railway Research (IRR) at The University of Huddersfield to reproduce the guide, which was originally commissioned by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in 2008.

Craig O’Brien, LRSSB Engineering Manager, said: “Much of the information in the guide is still highly relevant today, and the LRSSB – with permission from the ORR – wanted to reintroduce this topic and raise awareness of the subject amongst its member organisations.

“We took this decision primarily because of the risk still associated with the wheel-rail interface, especially with the introduction of new wheel and rail profiles on the UK networks.

“It also tied in neatly with the current work on the CEN Urban Rail standard on switches and crossings, which the LRSSB is supporting and which has within in it a significant emphasis on wheel-rail interaction.”

The 2008 guide was first commissioned from the Rail Technology Unit when it was based at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since then the unit has re-established itself within the School of Computing and Engineering at The University of Huddersfield.

The unit is acknowledged as a world-leading centre in the field of railway engineering and safety.

On completion of the industry peer review the final version is due to be published, as scheduled, early in 2022.

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