Optimisation of wheelset maintenance using whole-system cost modelling

Adam Bevan, Paul Molyneux-Berry, Steve Mills, Andy Rhodes, Daniel Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The maintenance and renewal activities of wheelsets account for a large proportion of the whole-life costs for railway rolling stock. These activities are influenced by a large number of factors including depot constraints, wheel surface damage, fleet availability and vehicle design. If these factors are not managed efficiently it can have significant implications on a vehicle's service provision, track damage, environmental and whole-life costs. Therefore, the development of an effective wheelset management tool will support the optimisation of maintenance and renewal regimes, thereby increasing wheelset life and reducing costs. Further development of the Vehicle Track Interaction Strategic Model has enhanced the rolling stock modelling capabilities of the tool through the development of the Wheelset Management Model (WMM). This model aims to assist in the strategic planning of wheelset maintenance and renewal activities and thereby allowing users to examine the benefits and cost impact of a range of different scenarios to optimise wheelset management strategies. This paper describes the capabilities of the WMM and illustrates how the model can be used to optimise a fleet's maintenance strategy through the application of a realistic industry case study. The implications of different wheelset maintenance regimes on wheelset life and costs were examined. Finally, the paper presents how the tools can be used to investigate whole-system costs and demonstrate the impact of wheelset maintenance on track costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-608
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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