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What makes a train get flat spots on its wheel?


R42 M Train

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Yesterday I saw R160 9963-9966 on the (M) shuttle. I heard the loud noises from the train that made it sound like a locmotive. I know that means flat spots on the wheels. What can cause that? Also, I'm concerned about ENY's maintenance because the some newest R160s have flat spots.

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Yesterday I saw R160 9963-9966 on the (M) shuttle. I heard the loud noises from the train that made it sound like a locmotive. I know that means flat spots on the wheels. What can cause that? Also, I'm concerned about ENY's maintenance because the some newest R160s have flat spots.

 

That's usually a result of the brakes wearing down on the wheel (especially during BIE incidents).

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That's usually a result of the brakes wearing down on the wheel (especially during BIE incidents).

 

Flat spots are not caused by normal brake wear, it is cause when the brakes lock and the wheel stops turning while the train is still moving. Flat wheel are not as common today as they used to be because most of the time, when a train goes BIE, the brakes don't lock up. Back when steel shoes were used, brakes would lock up alot.

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Spots often happen when the rails become humid, when dry wheels first encounter wet rails, during the fall with leaves on the track, and sometimes in any weather condition when a strong brake application is made while the train is at a decent rate of speed.

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That's what the little white half circles on the wheel are for- if they are not moving on a specific wheel, it shows that the wheel is locked up when the rest of the train is moving

 

This is true but I should add as some of you know there are other reasons besides locked brake shoes that this could happen.

 

A wheelset that is locked up by something more serious such as a bound up axle bearing etc. which goes undetected and the train continues for some distance, will wear very quickly in a short amount of time

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