This paper presents a model simulating rail roughness growth in which the interaction of a wheelset with the track is considered. The aim is to investigate any possible mechanism for roughness growth due to the coupling between the vertical dynamics, the torsional vibration across the axle of the wheelset and the non-steady contact mechanics. The time-domain simulations are carried out for a driven wheelset on tangent track. Both rigid and flexible are considered with parameter variations for moments of the wheelset, vehicle speeds and wavelengths of initial roughnesses. The 2D non-Hertzian and non-steady contact model used in simulations are based on influence coefficients obtained from a boundary element model. The nonlinear development of the rail roughnesses after millions of wheelset passages is also presented.