The work described contributes to the goal of defining an economic-based criterion for removing or re-profiling hollow-worn railroad wheels. Results from a survey of North American freight car wheels indicates that significant numbers of wheels have hollow-worn treads. The effect of hollow wear on rolling resistance and lateral forces has been investigated using a vehicle dynamics model backed by track tests. Results indicate that hollow wheels impose an economic cost, and, by their effect on lateral track forces, increase the risk of derailment. Prediction and test results have been used as input to an economic model to examine the cost benefits of a removal criterion for hollow-worn wheels. The modeling methods used are general in principle, and are not specific solely to the heavy haul environment.

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