Rail Research UK (RRUK) is an EPSRC-funded virtual centre, a network of UK researchers working on a variety of collaborative railway research projects. NewRail was a partner in the following:

More information on Project A6:Three-dimensional Microstructural Modelling of Crack Initiation in Rail SteelBackground:Rolling-sliding, cyclic contact of wheel and rail progressively alters the microstructure of the contacting steels, eventually leading to micro-scale crack initiation, wear and macro-scale crack growth in the railhead. Relating the microstructural changes to subsequent wear and cracking is being accomplished through modelling at three spatial scales: (i) bulk material (ii) multi-grain and (iii) sub-grain. The models incorporate detailed information from metallurgical examinations of used rails and tested rail material. The initial 2-dimensional models representing the rail material are being further developed into 3-dimensional models. Modelling is taking account of thermal effects, and traffic patterns to which the rails are exposed.

Original Project Scope and Objectives:The main aim of the project is to predict rail life based on knowledge of particular rail steel microstructures. This will enable rail grades to be selected appropriately for specific routes, according to traffic / track geometry, in order to minimise maintenance costs.  The objectives are:

This work is being undertaken in partnership with the University of Birmingham.