How a train wheel is made – Sandvik Coromant

How a train wheel is made – Sandvik Coromant

Trains running mile after mile put
high demands on their wheels. Meeting their requirements on dimensional tolerances and
surface quality is essential, both as a matter of safety but also in terms of comfort for
the passenger. Producing finished wheels involves
a manufacturing chain including different forming
processes, metal cutting and testing. Blanks are heated in a rotary kiln
before compression forged. The centre is then punched out and
the profile is rollformed. A bending process gives the wheel its
final shape, and then the wheel rim is chilled in
water, thus hardening it. Finally, the wheel’s mechanical
properties are tested to ensure the wheel is ready for
further machining. To achieve required dimensions and
surface quality, the hub, web and rim on the wheel are
machined. Round inserts are combined with over
and under coolant for best performance and chip
evacuation. Non-destructive testing ensures the
wheel surface meets the requirements on quality and tolerances. Then it’s mounted on the axis,
installed on the train and ready for use. After a period on the tracks, wheels need re-turning. The train rolls into the machine
shop, where every flat spot,
flange deformation and crack is removed. Until the wheels are reset to their
former standard, ready for another cycle.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I'm sure/hope the wheels were secured to the axle a little better than they appeared to be at 01:47 – 01:53 ..and seemingly secured by x3 bolts!!!

    Should have shown the real/whole process. Good for youngsters I suppose.

  2. Thanks for this video, it's really nice
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  3. This is a great animation of the overview of how train wheels are manufactured. Although I feel it is necessary to point out that not all aspects of the wheel are machined such as the contours, usually only the outer edge where the flange and the tapered point contacts the rails is usually machined to spec as well as the ID that is press fit onto the axle. Its also worthy to point out that wheels on both locomotives and freight cars are turned fairly often as when the wheel is in tolerance and has a perfect tapered angle there is a significant less amount of friction between the rail and the wheel.

  4. I have always found it interesting how small a train wheel flange is compared to how huge those trains are. All it takes is one inch of lift of the wheel for whatever reason to cause a major disaster. I'm beginning to think that flange climb is one of the main causes of derailments especially like I said before the flange being so short.

  5. I've seen imperfections like rust out spots and flat spotting on rail cars. The wheel goes down the rails banging or grinding . Holes are uncommon, but I've seen some of those too. Steel can be an imperfect metal to forge.

  6. That's right, don't show is the real footage, just CGI the crap out of it instead and use a robot for the voice over. So convincing!

  7. Speaking of high demands, what kind of graphics processor and CAM software do i need to generate these simulations?

  8. Nothing like computer animations to soften the nasty reality of real machining processes and other manufacturing means.

  9. before compression forged ……… really….. that is what forging is

    and you wonder why I drink….

  10. Am I the only one who had to listen to her repeat the word kiln just because she pronounced it right. After countless "how it's made" videos where they hired a moron who says it killin every time this was just so nice to hear it properly spoken.

  11. Wheels are very important! If you were interested in how the freight trains are made – here's the video from Russian plant 😉

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