Wheel-rail test bench

Deutsche Bahn investigates the performance of wheels, wheelset shafts, rails, switches and other vehicle components. For this purpose, test benches and operational trials are used to test the components under real loads. The focus is on material concepts, maintenance procedures, sound insulation and diagnostic procedures.

Inova specialises in customised test systems and has supplied a linear test stand for wheel-rail contact investigations under simultaneous longitudinal force.

Banc d'essai roue-rail, Wheel-rail test rig, Rad-Schiene Prüfstand
Inova - DB Rad-Schiene Prüfstand

Image Courtesy of inova


The linear test bench for investigations of the wheel-rail contact under the application of longitudinal forces is a stationary, dynamic operating load test bench with the following possibilities:

  • Analysis of the transverse profile wear
  • Rolling contact fatigue investigation
  • Effects of wheel and rail material, but also of friction modifiers
  • Influence of the wheel and rail profile
  • Evaluation of new materials and welded joints
  • Parameterisation and validation of wear simulation models for wheel and rail
  • New developments for non-destructive testing or diagnostic systems



  • Wheel diameter: from 640 – 1250 mm
  • Material and profile: variable


  • Length: 1.2 to 1.4 m
  • Material and profile: variable


  • 5’000 load cycles/h
  • 100’000 load tons/h with 20 t wheelset load
  • Wheelset load: up to 40t
  • Longitudinal force: up to 34 kN
  • Lateral force: up to 60 kN
  • Track curves: from 120 m radius up to ∞
  • Lubrication or humidification possible

Components of the wheel-rail test bench

Test framework:

  • Customised design
  • Solid, multi-column design
  • Vertically adjustable cross head
  • Hydraulic cross yoke adjustment and clamping
  • XY table on rollers to hold the rail sections


  • Vertical: Linear cylinder with hydrostatic piston rod bearings
  • Horizontal: Hydraulic motor as brake
  • Linear cylinder for lateral force
  • Crank drive with electric motor and flywheel as drive for rail movement

Supplier for tailored static, dynamic and fatigue testing systems

With more than 50 years of experience, Inova GmbH is one of the world market leaders for servo-hydraulic and mechanical testing systems. Inova components and solutions are used in research & development, as well as quality assurance for operational load simulation, material and component testing.

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