Improvements have been made to the nonlinear wheel / rail force prediction method of Elkins and Gostling. These improvements are described, along with the experimental equipment used in order to provide input data for the predictions, and to validate them. A further series of curving tests, using a Laboratory Coach equipped with bogies having variable suspension parameters, has been carried out, and shown to give excellent agreement with the improved theory. The prediction method is now used on a regular basis within British Rail, and its use for vehicle design is considered, together with planned extensions to cover calculation of wheel and rail wear and dynamic behavior of railway vehicles on curve and switch entry.

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