Field tests with an electric Re 6/6 locomotive are summarized in this paper. The test objectives included the assessment of the lateral wheel-rail dynamics on tangent track. A method is presented which measures continuously the wheelset’s lateral and yaw displacement from track centerline and local rail deflections. The data are obtained on a spatial base through track side marks in conjunction with wheelset rotary trigger pulses. These measurements give a vivid description of the nature of wheelset motion on real track. They allow to scrutinize some of the assumptions inherent to linear rail vehicle modelling. Linearization of the creep force laws and the contact geometry is found to be questionable particularly in the presence of tractive effort, and generally for near critical speed. The results should be of interest primarily to theoretical and experimental rail vehicle dynamicists.

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