During train operation, heavy loads combined with the dynamic forces that occur at the wheel and rail interface can lead to deterioration of both track and rolling stock. Wheel and rail contact anomalies can lead to increased maintenance costs and reduced service life. In situations where poor track quality or damaged wheels exist, excessive forces can cause derail¬ments, buckles, breaks, rail rollovers, and other safety concerns.
Knowing and managing wheel and rail forces is a critical factor in reducing safety risks, lowering maintenance costs, and maximizing service life. The International Collaborative Research Initiative on Rolling Contact Fatigue and Wear of Rails and Wheels (ICRI) is aimed at developing and supporting the Canadian supply chain to advance the rail industry toward long-term benefit.
The ICRI conducts research on various topics including friction modeling, rail and wheel damage measurement and modeling, risk and derailment, and economic assessment of new technologies.
What is ICRI?
The International Collaborative Research Initiative on Rolling Contact Fatigue and Wear of Rails and Wheels (ICRI) is an NRC-led research initiative addressing 2 common problems affecting the rail industry:
- rolling contact fatigue
- wear of rails and wheels
These problems can lead to severe consequences such as train derailments. The initiative is an informal group of academics, consultants, researchers, and engineers, from industry and government, working in, or having significant involvement with, the international railway industry. Formed in 2013, the initiative brings together more than 230 people from over 115 organizations in 25 countries to collaborate on topics of mutual interest by leveraging current or future, already funded work.
To learn more on the International Collaborative Research Initiative, visit the ICRI website.
- Transport Canada
- Federal Railroad Administration
- Advanced Rail Management
- Advanced Rail Management (USA)
- American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (USA)
- Bay Area Rapid Transit (USA)
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (USA)
- Canadian Pacific Railway
- Central Queensland University – Centre for Railway Engineering (Australia)
- Chalmers University (Sweden)
- CN Transportation
- CSX Transportation (USA)
- Deutsche Bahn AG
- Federal Railroad Administration (USA)
- Interface Journal (USA)
- LB Foster Rail Technologies (Canada)
- London Underground Limited (UK)
- Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc. (USA)
- Monash University – Institute of Railway Technology (Australia)
- MRX Technologies (UK)
- National Research Council (Canada)
- Network Rail (UK)
- Norfolk Southern Railway (USA)
- Rail Safety and Standards Board (UK)
- Rohmann LP (USA)
- University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
- Sentient Science (USA)
- Sheffield University (UK)
- Simon Fraser University (CAN)
- Sperry Rail Service (USA)
- Toronto Transit Commission (Canada)
- Transnet (South Africa)
- Transport Canada
- University of Huddersfield (UK)
- Vehicle Dynamics LLC (USA)
- Virtual Vehicle (Austria)
- Vortech Computing (Netherlands)
- Wheel Rail Seminars (USA)
Why join ICRI?
- Collaborative leveraging of research performed by multiple parties in the same or related fields to enhance the quality of each team's project deliverables.
- Shared learning and experiences on topics of current interest, including friction modeling, rail and wheel damage measurement and modeling, risk and derailment, and economic assessment of new technologies.
- Free participation in technical seminars from industry leaders.
- Networking opportunities and informal access to peers at various ICRI events.
How does ICRI work?
The ICRI enables stakeholders to meet, share and learn what they can, and participate as much as they can for as long as they are seeing some benefit. Much of the interaction is web-based, but there have also been eight half- to full-day workshops at various locations in North America and Europe, usually in conjunction with other international meetings or conferences.
Participation in ICRI is currently open. For more information on how to become a participant, please contact:
Railways, rail industry suppliers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and parts manufacturers for rail industry.