Wheels are a critical component for every vehicle and it is no different in case of rail o rolling stock. Wheels carry the complete weight of the train and have to bear high forces during ride without the risking the lives /safety of goods.
CAF MiiRA has been researching on the optimisation of low stress wheels and recently developed the new Light Thermo Stable wheel (LiTheS). It has previously developed a tread-braked wheel which is touted to be better than many other wheels presently available in the market.
Indian Railways is currently collaborating with reputed designers for upgrading LHB wheel designs for better service life and reduced susceptibility to shelling/spalling. The use of indigenously manufactured wheel discs through pressure controlled pouring process is also being looked at.
The immediate goals include further life-cycle enhancement of wheels, adapting to different standard of rail track and focusing on noise reduction.
The global rolling stock wheels market is estimated at $XXM in 2020 growing at –% CAGR till 2025
Most of the rail wheel suppliers are working on reduction in the unsprung masses and noise emission, especially for countries where track access charges and noise track access charges are already in effect.
Czech Republic based Bonatrans group is among the leading supplier of wheels and wheelsets to various Rolling stock manufacturers.
BVV developed a new solution for passenger coaches travelling between two areas with different track gauges will be equipped with automatic gauge changing wheelsets where unlocking, gauge changing and safe relocking of the wheelsets is performed fully automatically while passing an automatic changeover rail.
Indian Railways on the other hand produces wheels in its own factories. India rail wheel factory, Bangalore is also setting up a new Axle Forging Complex at a cost of $45 Million and slated to be completed by 2021.
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