This paper presents a comparison of control algorithms for actively stabilised wheelsets on high speed railway vehicles. Both intuitively derived classical strategies and modern optimal strategies are considered. Computer simulations are used to assess and compare the performance of the strategies in terms of their ability to provide stability across a range of operating conditions, for a range of parameter uncertainty and also in terms of their actuator requirements. Actuator models are also developed, not only to properly assess the impact of actuator dynamics on the active stability system performance, but also to further quantify and refine the actuator requirements needed to implement the system practically. The concept has been implemented practically on a full size vehicle and some preliminary experimental results are included. Although the paper concentrates upon stability control, some observations are included regarding the integration of steering controllers.