This study uses an elastic-plastic, coupled temperature-displacement finite element model to investigate the effect of rail corrugations on the wheel-rail thermal contact stress and temperature distribution during wheel braking. The finite element model assumes that the material properties and the friction coefficient are temperature-dependent. The analysis considers various corrugation wavelengths and amplitudes and is performed over a range of braking speeds. The results indicate that the corrugated rail induces wavelike contact pressure and temperature distributions on the rail surface. The results also show that the variation in the peak contact pressure increases as the corrugation wavelength is reduced or as the corrugation amplitude is increased. Furthermore, it is found that the corrugated rail shifts the location of the peak value of the rail surface temperature toward the leading edge of the contact region. The amplitude of the temperature fluctuations reduces as the corrugation wavelength is increased or as the corrugation amplitude is reduced. Finally, a higher corrugation amplitude or a shorter corrugation wavelength causes the location of the peak maximum shear stress to shift toward the rail surface.

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