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This shed was set up in Feb. 1976 by Railway Electrification Organization as a part of Tundla Delhi electrification scheme and was designed to home 50 electric locomotives at an initial cost of 1.5 crore. The prime objective of setting up this shed was to maintain Electric locomotives required for hauling important mail/express trains on Delhi Howrah section. The initial holding of the shed was 34, all of which were WAM4. At present, holding has increased to 138 and this includes 16 State-of-the-Art Technology three-phase drive WAP5 locomotives & 23 WAP7 locomotives. Locomotives of ELS/GZB are hauling most of the prestigious Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains on electrified routes. Team of ELS/GZB feels proud in being nominated for offering locos for hauling trains at 150 KMPH. Electric Loco Shed, Ghaziabad is proud of holding the maximum number of Electric Coaching locos on Indian Railway, which is indicative of the faith Railway Administration has in the team of ELS/GZB. It has been a constant endeavor of the entire team, to meet expectation of the Railway Administration as well as the Public in terms of reliability, safety and availability of electric locomotive. Recently 23 three-phase drive WAP7 locos have been received at ELS/GZB, and they are being maintained with out any additional input of manpower & infrastructure resources. The shed has successfully adopted the changes in technology of Electric locomotives from WAM4 locomotives to the present day State-of-the-Art Technology of three-phase drive of WAP5 & WAP7 locomotives. It has been possible due to team spirit and willingness of the entire team to adopt and update itself with new technology. Initially, 10 WAP5 locomotives were imported from ABB/Switzerland and were put in service trials in 1997. These locomotives were imported along with technology transfer. The average kilometer earning of these locomotives comes upto 2.85-lakh km per year per loco, which is 1 times compared to other electric mail/express locomotives. These WAP5 & WAP7 locomotives are hauling the most prestigious trains of Indian Railway like Rajdhanis & Shatabdis.







TOTAL WORK FORCE 05 74 588 78 150 24




1.5 (Rs. IN CRORES )



8910 (IN SQ. MTRS.)

Cumulative Comparative performance for 2004-05 & 2005-06 Improvement/ Parameters 2004-05 till October Per 100 locos Per Month 00.47+02.7 5 00.82+02.2 0 21.12+82.9 7 05.16 08.15 21.35 + 119.78 08.05+28.0 2 01.98+03.8 5 20.65+80.2 2 2005-06 till October 108.28+33. 71 02+05 03+03 163+143 5.57 8.37 145+202 52+46 07+08 161+138 Per 100 locos Per Month 00.26+02.1 2 00.40+01.2 7 21.51+60.6 0 5.57 8.37 19.13+85.6 0 06.86+19.4 9 00.92+03.3 9 21.24+58.4 8 Deterioration per 100 Locos per month Average Loco Holding Statistical Failures Non-Statistical Failures Total Incidences Statistical Ineffective %age Hourly Ineffective %age Unschedule Visits Unschedule Lifting Punctuality loss No. of trains U.O.R.s 122.43+26 04+05 07+04 181+151 05.16 08.15 183+ 218 69+51 17+07 177+146 + Improved - Deteriorated (+) 00.21 + (+) 00.63 (+) 00.42 + (+) 00.93 (-) 00.39 + (+) 22.37 ( - ) 0.41 ( - ) 0.22 (+) 02.22 + ( +) 34.18 (+) 01.19 + (+) 08.53 (+) 01.06 + (+) 00.46 (-) 00.59 + (+) 21.74

Comparative performance of 2004-05 & 2005-06 for the month of October Improvement/ Parameters October 2004 Per 100 locos Per Month 00.00+03.8 5 00.00+03.8 5 24.80+100. 00 08.50 October 2005 Per 100 locos Per Month 00.00+02.5 6 00.00+02.5 6 29.29+64.1 0 6.10 Deterioration per 100 Locos per month Average Loco Holding Statistical Failures Non-Statistical Failures Total Incidences Statistical Ineffective %age 121+26 Nil+01 Nil+01 30+26 08.50 99+39 00+01 00+01 29+25 6.10 + Improved - Deteriorated (+) 00.00 + (+) 01.29 (+) 00.00 + (+) 01.29 (-) 04.49 + (+) 35.90 (+) 02.40

Hourly Ineffective %age Unschedule Visits Unschedule Liftings Punctuality loss (No. of Trains) U.O.R.s

9.90 32+50 17+09 02+02 30+25

9.90 26.45 + 192.31 14.05+34.6 2 01.65+7.69 24.80+ 96.15

8.75 21+47 06+05 00+02 29+24

8.75 21.21+120. 51 06.06+12.8 2 00.00+05.1 3 29.29+61.5 4

(+) 01.15 (+) 05.24 + ( +) 71.80 (+) 07.99 + (+) 21.80 (+) 01.65 + (+) 02.56 (-) 04.49 + (+) 34.61

Note: Bold is for WAP-5 & 7. WORK IN PROGRESS OF VARIOUS WORKS CONTRACT AND THEIR STATUS DURING 2005-06 S. No. W/C No. 230Elect/TRS/GZB Total Cost in Rs.





15428 K.M. Hiring of Truck

Contract awarded on 29-06-2005 to 26,38,424/M/s Krishna Road carries (Regd.)/ GZB. Contract awarded on 30/06/2005 to 4,41,240/M/s Pal Radiator & coolers / NDLS. Contract awarded on 14/10/05 to M/s 40,64,136/Bombardier Transportation India Ltd. New Delhi. Opened on 05/09/05. Case is 28,64,000/- under consideration with tender committee. Opened on 05/09/05. Case is 33,84,000/- under consideration with tender committee. Opened on 12/09/05. Case is 10,40,000/- under consideration with tender committee. Tender opened on date 24/10/05. Under consideration with Tender committee Opened on 19/09/05. Offer not received


05 nos.

Repair of Al. based Oil Cooler Repair of Electronic modules of traction converter etc. Repair/reconditioning of Hurth coupling for WAP5 loco Repair/reconditioning of gear case for WAP5 loco Repair of Valve sets of Traction converter of WAP5, WAP7, WAG9 loco


35 items


8 sets.


8 sets.


8 nos.


333 No. 136 Calibration of various Type measuring tools Consolidated repair of 2Stator 4 different sub equipments Rotor of WAP7 Locomotive Consolidated repair of 6 WRE different sub equipments 2GG WRE & GG module of WAP7 Locomotive





Contract awarded on 25/10/05 to M/s 29,82,890/Bombardier Transportation India Ltd. New Delhi.

10 2005-06/10

Consultancy contract for analysis of existing design of OCB Impeller & suggestinh design modification 5+5 nos. Repair of Speed sensor assembly of 3 phase T.M Repair of Valve sets of Traction converter of WAP5, WAP7, WAG9 loco


Opened on 22/09/05. Case is under consideration with tender committee.

11 2005-06/08


Under publication.

2005-06/03 RSP 12 nos. 4/2005-06

5 nos.

Contract awarded on 12/08/05 to M/s 22,16,760/Bombardier Transportation India Ltd. New Delhi.




WAP1 was built by CLW to RDSO specifications. First in the dedicated electric passenger loco series. Production began in 1980 and the locos were at first used solely for the Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani. A single WAP-1 was all that was needed to haul the 18-coach Rajdhani at a max.speed of 120 km/h. and an average speed of around 82km/h. Continuous power 3760hp; starting TE 22.2t, continuous TE 13.8t. Loco weight is 112.8t

Many remaining WAP-1's are being converted to WAP-4's by a complete retrofit including new traction motors, new transformers, etc. These upgrades do not result in the 'R' suffix in the road number that is typical for rebuilt locos. Ghaziabad shed locos are currently [1/05] the only ones not scheduled for such upgrades and are expected to remain as 'pure' WAP-1 units. The WAP-1E has only air brakes.

Technical Specifications:
Manufacturers Traction Motors Gear Ratio Transformer Axle load Bogies Chittaranjan locomotive works Alstom/CLW - TAO 659 (575kW (770hp), 750V, 1095 rpm) Axle-hung, nose-suspended, force-ventilated. 58:21 BHEL type HETT-3900, 3900 kVA. 32 taps. 18.8 t Co-Co Flexicoil (cast steel bogies); primary and secondary wheel springs with bolsters.

Pantographs Two Stone India (Calcutta) AM-12. Current Ratings 1000 A for 10 min, 900 A continuous


WAP4 :

WAP-4 is one of the most important electric locomotives used in India. It is a very powerful class capable of hauling 26 coaches at a speed of 140 km/h. It is also among the most widely used locomotives. The locomotive was developed, after a previous class WAP-1 was found inadequate to haul the longer, heavier express trains that were becoming the mainstay of the Indian Railways network. It was introduced in 1994, with a similar bodyshell to the WAP-1 class, but with Hitachi traction motors developing 5000 hp (5350 hp starting).

Electricals are traditional DC loco type tap changers, driving 6 traction motors arranged in Co-Co fashion. This locomotive has proved to be highly successful, with over 450 units in service and more being produced. Newer examples have been fitted with Microprocessor Controlled diagnostics, Static Converter units (instead of arnos) and roof mounted Dynamic (Rheostatic) Brakes.

Technical Specifications:Manufacturers Chittaranjan locomotive works Traction Motors Gear Ratio Transformer Axle load Bogies Hitachi HS15250 (630 kW, 750 V (New P4 [**67* onwards] are 900 volts), 900 A, 895 rpm. Weight 3500 kg). Axle-hung, nose-suspended, force ventilated, taper roller bearings 23:58 (One loco, #22559, is said to have a 23:59 ratio.) 5400 kVA, 32 taps 18.8 t Co-Co Flexicoil Mark 1 cast bogies; primary and secondary wheel springs with bolsters

Pantographs Two Stone India (Calcutta) AM-12. Current Ratings 1000 A for 10 min, 900 A continuous

3. WAP5:
WAP 5 is the name of a class of electric locomotive used by Indian Railways. The first 10 locos were imported from ABB in Switzerland in 1995. Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) started production in 2000. It was designed to haul 18 coach passenger trains at 160 km/h. It is the first 3-phase loco in India. Other notable features of this loco are the provision of taps from the main loco transformers for hotel load, pantry loads, flexible gear coupling, wheel-mounted disc brakes, and a potential for speed enhancement to 200 km/h. 88 tonnes weight.

Braking systems include regenerative braking (160kN), loco disc brakes, automatic train air brakes, and a charged spring parking brake. MU operation possible with a maximum of two locos.At trials, a WAP-5 has been tested upto 184km/h The WAP-5 series of locomotives haul the premium trains on Indian Railways like the Mumbai Rajdhani Express, Bhopal Shatabdi Express, Lucknow Shatabdi Express, Prayagraj Express, etc.

Technical Specifications:Manufacturers ABB / Chittaranjan Locomotive Works Capacity 4 MW (4000 kW, 5450 hp) ABB's 6FXA 7059 3-phase squirrel cage induction motors (1150kW, 2180V, 370/450A, *1583/3147 Traction rpm) Weight 2050 kg. Forced-air ventilation, fully suspended. Torque 6930/10000 Nm. 96% Motors *efficiency. Gear Ratio 67:35:17. (3-stage gears) Transformer ABB's LOT-7500. 7475kVA primary, 4x1450kVA secondary. Axle load Bogies Pantographs 19.5 t Bo-Bo Henschel Flexifloat; bogie centre distance 10200 mm; bogie wheel base 2800 mm Unsprung mass per axle: 2.69t Two Stone India (Calcutta) AM-92, Schunk for the imported locomotives.

Wheel diameter 1092 mm new, 1016 mm worn

4. WAP7:
WAP 7 is a high speed locomotive indigenously developed by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. It is capable of hauling trains at speeds ranging between 140 and 160 km per hour and is now largely used by Northern Railways and South Central Railways(SCR).The WAP-7 is actually a modified version of the WAG 9 freight locomotive with modified gear ratios and is set to replace the fleet of WAP 4s. With a maximum speed rating of 140 km/h, the WAP-7 boasts of the most phenomenal acceleration figures while hauling mail/express trains.The WAP7 can also haul loads of 24-26 passenger coaches (1430-1550 t) at 110+ km/h per hour. It is also known to haul 16 heavyweight Air Conditioned coaches (1120t) in 1:40 inclines single-handedly. At a trial conducted by Indian Railways, it clocked a speed of 177 km/h. It is the most

successful passenger locomotive in the Indian Railways portfolio after the WAP4. It is used to haul premium trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi express apart from other regular mail/express trains. It also regularly hauls other trains like the New Delhi-Chennai, New Delhi-Bangalore, New Delhi-Sealdah and the New Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani Expresses.

The most unique feature of this locomotive is that it eliminates the need to have separate DG sets for airconditioning in long distance trains hence saving huge on maintenance and running costs. A 24-coach (1430t) passenger rake can be accelerated to 110 km/h in 240 seconds (over 4.7 km) by a WAP-7; to 120 km/h in 304 sec. (6.7 km); and to 130 km/h in 394 sec. (9.9 km).

Technical Specifications:Manufacturers CLW 6FRA 6068 3-phase squirrel-cage induction motors (850 kW, 2180V, 1283/2484 rpm, Traction Motors *270/310A. Weight Gear Ratio 72:20 Axle load 20.5t Wheel diameter 1092mm new, 1016mm worn Wheel base 15700mm Bogies Co-Co, Fabricated Flexicoil Mark IV bogies; bogie wheel base 1850mm + 1850mm

Unsprung mass 3.984t 5. WAG5: WAP5 was introduced in 1984. Starting TE 382kN (33500kgf); continuous TE 202kN (20600kgf). Adhesion 29%. A very successful class, and probably the one with the most numbers produced. There are many variants of these, starting with the plain WAG-5. WAG-5A locos have Alsthom motors. Later versions were WAG-5H and variants with Hitachi motors. Although a great improvement over earlier locomotive classes, the WAG-5 models do have limitations, one of which is the inability to start and haul large loads (4700t -- 58 BOXN wagons) on gradients steeper than 1:200 or so.WAG-5 locos can be used as multiple units in configurations of 2, 3, 4, or more locos.

With the large influx of WAG-7 and WAG-9 locos in recent years, many WAG-5 locos are now also being put to use hauling local passenger trains. Some such as the WAG-5E loco #23989 'Krishnaveni' (of Vijayawada [1/04]) have also been modified for this purpose in their interior equipment as well as some of the exterior aspects. For some reason, the BHEL-built WAG-5HA / 5HB locos are never seen used with passenger trains. All of the WAG-5HB units are at Jhansi near BHEL's own installations so that BHEL can handle their maintenance.

Manufacturers Chittaranjan locomotive works Traction Motors Gear Ratio Transformer Axle load Bogies Alstom TAO 659 (575kW, 750V, 1070 rpm) or TAO 656; or Hitachi HS 15250A (See description under WAP-4.) Axle-hung, nose-suspended. Six motors. 62:16 or 62:15 with Alstom motors, some 64:18 (Hitachi motors), many now 58:21 for mixed use. BHEL, type HETT-3900. 3900kVA, 22.5kV, 182A. 32 taps. 20t Co-Co cast bogies (Alco asymmetric trimount -- shared with WDM-2, WAM-4).

Pantographs Two Stone India (Calcutta) AM-12. Current Ratings 1100A/10min, 750A continuous.

6. WAM4:
WAM-4 is the name of a type of electric locomotive used in India. It is a very successful locomotive in Indian Railways' fleet. The first one was indigenously designed and built by CLW in 1970-71. They were produced until about 1997. They use the same power bogies as the successful WDM-2 class. These locos feature rheostatic braking, and MU capability. Being designed specially for mixed traffic these locos has rendered excellent service.

Technical Specifications:Manufacturers CLW Alstom TAO 659 A1 (575kW, 750V). Six motors, axle-hung, nose-suspended, forceTraction Motors ventilated. 15:62 originally (and still for WAM-4 2S3P), now many variations, 21:58 being common for Gear Ratio WAM-4 6P locos. Transformer Heil BOT 3460 A, 22.5kV / 3460kVA. Rectifiers Two silicon rectifier cells, 1270V / 1000A each cubicle. Pantographs Two Faiveley AM-12. Axle load 18.8t Hauling capacity 2010t Current Ratings (WAM-4 6P) 1100A/10min, 750A continuous

A pantograph is a device that collects electric current from overhead lines for electric trains or trams. The most common type of pantograph today is the so called half-pantograph (sometimes 'Z'-shaped), which has evolved to provide a more compact and responsive single-arm design at high speeds as trains get faster. The halfpantograph can be seen in use on everything from very fast trains to low-speed urban tram systems. The design operates with equal efficiency in either direction of motion.

Fig.- Pantograph The electric transmission system for modern electric rail systems consists of an upper weight carrying wire (known as a catenary) from which is suspended a contact wire. The pantograph is spring loaded and pushes a contact shoe up against the contact wire to draw the electricity needed to run the train. The steel rails on the tracks act as the electrical return. As the train moves, the contact shoe slides along the wire and can set up acoustical standing waves in the wires which break the contact and degrade current collection. This means that on some systems adjacent pantographs are not permitted. Pantographs are the successor technology to trolley poles, which were widely used on early streetcar systems and still are used by trolleybuses, whose freedom of movement and need for a two-wire circuit makes pantographs impractical. Pantographs with overhead wires are now the dominant form of current collection for modern electric trains because, although more expensive and fragile than a third-rail system, they allow the use of higher voltages. Pantographs are typically operated by compressed air from the vehicle's braking system, either to raise the unit and hold it against the conductor or, when springs are used to effect the extension, to lower it. As a precaution against loss of pressure in the second case, the arm is held in the down position by a catch. For high-voltage systems, the same air supply is used to "blow out" the electric arc when roof-mounted circuit breakers are used.

A moving train contains energy, known as kinetic energy, which needs to be removed from the train in order to cause it to stop. The simplest way of doing this is to convert the energy into heat. The conversion is usually done by applying a contact material to the rotating wheels or to discs attached to the axles. The material creates friction and converts the kinetic energy into heat. The wheels slow down and eventually the train stops. The material used for braking is normally in the form of a block or pad.

Types of Brakes Used:

i) Air Brakes ii) Regenerative Brakes AIR BRAKES: The vast majority of the world's trains are equipped with braking systems which use compressed air as the force to push blocks on to wheels or pads on to discs. These systems are known as "air brakes" or "pneumatic brakes". The compressed air is transmitted along the train through a "brake pipe". Changing the level of air pressure in the pipe causes a change in the state of the brake on each vehicle. It can apply the brake, release it or hold it "on" after a partial application. Principle Parts: Compressor Main Reservoir Driver's Brake Valve Feed Valve Equalizing Reservoir Brake Pipe Angle Cocks Coupled Hoses Brake Cylinder Auxiliary reservoir Brake Block Brake Positions: i) Application Position ii) Release Position iii) Lap Position

) i) v) ) i) ii) iii) x) ) i)

i) Application Position: This diagram shows the condition of the brake cylinder, triple valve and auxiliary reservoir in the brake application position.The driver has placed the brake valve in the "Application" position. This causes air pressure in the brake pipe to escape. The loss of pressure is detected by the slide valve in the triple valve. Because the pressure on one side (the brake pipe side) of the valve has fallen, the auxiliary reservoir pressure on the other side has pushed the valve (towards the right) so that the feed groove over the valve is closed.

Fig. - Brake in application Pos. The driver has placed the brake valve in the "Application" position. This causes air pressure in the brake pipe to escape. The loss of pressure is detected by the slide valve in the triple valve. Because the pressure on one side (the brake pipe side) of the valve has fallen, the auxiliary reservoir pressure on the other side has pushed the valve (towards the right) so that the feed groove over the valve is closed. The connection between the brake cylinder and the exhaust underneath the slide valve has also been closed. At the same time a connection between the auxiliary reservoir and the brake cylinder has been opened. Auxiliary reservoir air now feeds through into the brake cylinder. The air pressure forces the piston to move against the spring pressure and causes the brake blocks to be applied to the wheels. Air will continue to pass from the auxiliary reservoir to the brake cylinder until the pressure in both is equal. This is the maximum pressure the brake cylinder will obtain and is equivalent to a full application. To get a full application with a reasonable volume of air, the volume of the brake cylinder is usually about 40% of that of the auxiliary reservoir.

ii) Release Position: This diagram shows the condition of the brake cylinder, triple valve and auxiliary reservoir in the brake release position.

Fig. Brake in Release pos. The feed groove allows brake pipe air pressure to enter the auxiliary reservoir and it will recharge it until its pressure is the same as that in the brake pipe. At the same time, the connection at the bottom of the slide valve will allow any air pressure in the brake cylinder to escape through the exhaust port to atmosphere. As the air escapes, the spring in the cylinder will push the piston back and cause the brake blocks to be removed from contact with the wheels. The train brakes are now released and the auxiliary reservoirs are being replenished ready for another brake application. iii) Lap Position: The purpose of the "Lap" position is to allow the brake rate to be held constant after a partial application has been made.

Fig. Brake in Lap Pos. When the driver places the brake valve in the "Lap" position while air is escaping from the brake pipe, the escape is suspended. The brake pipe pressure stops falling. In each triple valve, the suspension of this loss of brake pipe pressure is detected by the slide valve because the auxiliary pressure on the opposite side continues to fall while the brake pipe pressure stops falling. The slide valve therefore moves towards the auxiliary reservoir until the connection to the brake cylinder is closed off. The slide valve is now half-way between its application and release positions and the air pressures are now is a state of balance between the auxiliary

reservoir and the brake pipe. The brake cylinder is held constant while the port connection in the triple valve remains closed. The brake is "lapped". Lap does not work after a release has been initiated. Once the brake valve has been placed in the "Release" position, the slide valves will all be moved to enable the recharge of the auxiliary reservoirs. Another application should not be made until sufficient time has been allowed for this recharge. The length of time will depend on the amount of air used for the previous application and the length of the train. REGENERATIVE BRAKING: Regenerative braking is the use of the electric traction motors of a railroad vehicle as generators & power is returned to the supply line when slowing the vehicle. Regenerative braking lowers the wear of friction-based braking components, and additionally regeneration can also lower energy consumption. During braking, the traction motor connections are altered to turn them into electrical generators. The motor fields are connected across the main traction generator (MG) and the motor armatures are connected across the load. The MG now excites the motor fields. The rolling locomotive or multiple unit wheels turn the motor armatures, and the motors act as generators, either sending the generated current back into the supply. For a given direction of travel, current flow through the motor armatures during braking will be opposite to that during motoring. Therefore, the motor exerts torque in a direction that is opposite from the rolling direction.Braking effort is proportional to the product of the magnetic strength of the field windings, times that of the armature windings.

The AC electric motor driving a train or locomotive is a simple machine consisting of a case containing a fixed electrical part, the stator (called the stator because it is static and comprising what is called the field coils) and a moving electrical part, the rotor (because it rotates) or armature as it is often called. As the rotor turns, it turns a pinion which drives a gearwheel.

Fig. AC Traction Motor

The gearwheel is shrunk onto the axle and thus drives the wheels as shown in the diagram above. The motion of the motor is created by the interaction of the magnetism caused by the currents flowing the stator and the rotor. This interaction causes the rotor to turn and provide the drive. The stator and the rotor of the AC motor are connected electrically. The connection consists of fixed, carbon brushes which are spring loaded so that they remain in contact with an extension of the armature called the commutator. In this way, the field coils (the stator) are kept in the circuit with the rotor (the armature and commutator). Nose Suspended Traction Motor: The following diagram shows the layout of the traditional AC motor mounted in a bogie as a "nose suspended motor"

. Fig. - Nose Suspended Traction Motor

In electric trains or locomotives, the AC motor is mounted in the bogie frame supported partially by the axle which it drives and partially by the bogie frame. The motor case is provided with a "nose" which rested on a bracket fixed to the transom of the bogie. It is called a "nose suspended motor" (see diagram above). Its main disadvantage is that part of the weight rests on the axle and is therefore unsprung. This leads to greater wear on bogie and track. Nowadays, designers try to ensure all the motor weight is sprung by ensuring it is carried entirely by the bogie frame - a frame mounted motor.

Cast steel wheels are manufactured by a controlled pressure pouring process. In this process, the raw material used is pedigree scrap (old used wheelsets, axles etc, rejected as unfit for use by the Railways). The scrap steel is melted in Ultra High Frequency Electric Arc furnace. The correct chemistry of molten metal steel is established through a Spectrometer. The wheels are eventually get cast in the graphite moulds, which are preheated and sprayed. After allowing for a pre-determined setting time the mould is spilt and the risers are automatically separated from the cast wheel.

The wheel is then subjected to various heat treatments. The wheel undergoes the process of cleaning, checking, peening and various stages of inspections. The wheel produced by this process requires no machining except the precession boring of heats central hole (hub) where the axle has to be fitted.

Fig. Railway Wheels Railway wheels sit on the rails without guidance except for the shape of the tire in relation to the rail head. Contrary to popular belief, the flanges should not touch the rails. Flanges are only a last resort to prevent the wheels becoming derailed - a safety feature.

Fig. - The shape and location of wheels and rails on straight track. The wheel tire is coned and the rail head slightly curved as shown in the following diagram. The degree of coning is set by the railway company and it varies from place to place.