How Much Does A Train Wheel Weigh? (Different Wheel Types & Weight Covered)

Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Leepu Da Maxim

Each part of a train is made of highly durable and heavy materials. Among them the wheels are no exception, I know that they weigh approximately 2,425 pounds to 2,650 pounds. Here, the difference depends on the exact model of the wheels on each train. In other words, they weigh from 1.1 tons to 1.2 tons.

The overall wheel and split wheel are both types of locomotive wheels that can be found on trains. The overall wheel is the primary driving wheel that circulates power to the axles and each split wheel is a secondary driving wheel.

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Different Types of Train Wheel Weights

Standard Train Wheel Weight

Standard train wheel assemblies can weigh 235 pounds (106.5942 Kg) to 480 pounds (217.724 Kg). The weight is due to the size and material used and the number and thickness of the axles.

Lighter-Weight Train Wheel Weigh

Train wheel assemblies are lighter because they use smaller diameter wheels. These components are designed not to suffer the weight of the train but rather to run smoothly and efficiently.

The lighter-weight train wheel assemblies have an average load capacity of 10,000 pounds (4535.924 Kg), while the heavier assemblies have an average capacity of 40,000 pounds (18143.695 Kg). The lighter weight trains are mainly used in urban areas with lower traffic volumes.

KLW Wheels Weigh

Wheels are a crucial part of a car’s suspension and steering system. They also hold the weight of the assembly, which mostly depends on the type of wheel being used. For example, KLW wheels by themselves weigh between 363 lbs (164.654 Kg) to more than 2,300 pounds (1043.262 kg).

Wheels are an important part of the function of a vehicle. This includes the weight of the wheel assembly, which is determined by the type of wheel being used. Depending on what type of wheel is being used, they will have different weights.

Individual Wheel

A wheel can be an individual wheel that is not attached to an axle. The weight of the wheel can be anywhere from 400 pounds (181.437 kg) to 2,000 pounds (907.1847 kg). A wheelset is a collection of two or more wheels connected together in a way that allows them to rotate in unison and with equal speed.

What Materials Are Used To Make A Train Wheel?

In principle, the wheels of a locomotive are made of high-strength steel. It is actually risky to use other materials since a train wheel must substantiate a large amount of weight. For this reason, wheels are manufactured that are usually connected with the same axle. In this way, the axle allows two wheels to be synchronized efficiently.

How Is The Installation Of A Train Wheel Carried Out? 

In this case, it is a procedure that was previously highly expensive. It is necessary to have the tires that are combined with the wheels on the railways. The wheels of a railway are surrounded by tires made of steel. In particular, these tires are rim-shaped to provide support for the entire area.

Also, each of these components has a particular design that can vary in some ways depending on the railway. This means that a high temperature is required to mount the tire on the railway wheel. In this case, the temperature is controlled so that overheating of the materials is avoided.

Here, the tire is mounted above the railway wheel. That’s why a high temperature is used. Once the tire has expanded, it is then combined with the center of the wheel which is mounted on an axle. From here, the tire can be cooled down to have the whole component.

Both the retaining ring and the shoulder on the outside help maintain the interference fit. In particular, these aspects provide balanced support to the train wheel at all times. From this point on, a shaft can be used to synchronize and connect two train wheels.

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What Are The Factors That Damage Train Wheels?

Here, it is necessary to take into account that a train has to travel through different terrains and different spaces. That is why in some places, train wheels can suffer some damages. This damage can be more or less serious despite the high strength and durability with which the wheels are manufactured.

One of the places where train wheels are often damaged is on too steep a slope. At this point, the brakes work with greater intensity on all the components of the train. In braking or emergencies, the damage can be even greater.

Here, the interference fit is relaxed because all the wheels on the train are heated. In the same way, it is not possible to completely avoid this risk. The interference should be too strong in the tire, which is not possible in this case.

Therefore, there will always be some kind of damage to the train wheels. Of course, the level of damage can be reduced with the appropriate design and materials.

At the same time, alignment from the retaining ring should be maintained. This may allow the tire to turn in the center of the wheel only. Of course, there are times when the rotation may be too abrupt in some situations. Here, more than one slight or surface damage to the wheels may occur.

It is not only the retaining ring and similar components that could be damaged. Besides, this retaining ring can also break, which undoubtedly leads to the derailment of the train. In many terrains or under harsh conditions, a derailment can be quite common.

Both low ground adherence and severe braking can be factors to consider. When the vehicle is still moving, these factors can stop the wheel ratio. So, when we examine the tire, we will see that a flat spot has been caused. Here, the intense heat on the steel of the rim allows the initial design of the wheel to be disfigured.

Therefore, to avoid all these drawbacks, both wheels and tires are highly resistant and thick. In the same way, wear and tear can be endured more thanks to the 76 mm thickness of the tires. 

At the same time, this thickness of steel allows different repairs to be made to the tires and wheels. This is done by using a wheel lathe, which allows for the repair of punctures or areas that are worn out.

Why Don’t The Wheels Of A Train Fall Off When They Turn?

Here, it is important to mention that the wheels of a train have a design that comes in handy in a great number of situations. This is achieved by using a fixed axle that keeps two wheels correctly synchronized at all times. In turn, this also explains the fact that the wheels of a train are so heavy. 

Therefore, all the wheels of a train always turn at the same speed as each other. Of course, this can cause some kind of complication when turning since all wheels must always run at the same speed. So, when a train turns, then some wheels must cover a greater distance than others.

In the case of vehicles, this does not happen because not all wheels turn at the same speed. For this reason, the wheels of a car are decoupled, which makes it possible to adapt to different situations. In the same way, both the right-hand and left-hand wheels can turn at different speeds in any bend.

Beyond that, this cannot be done on a train, so other alternatives are required. In particular, the train wheel design is not based on cylinders that are perfect every time. In fact, during the manufacture of train wheels, it is necessary to bevel them on the inside. By doing this it is then possible to widen the inside of the wheels.

In this way, the diameter of the different wheels can change when the train needs to turn left or right. However, there is still the problem that two wheels of a train are connected through only one axle.

This is why even with the bevelling process the wheels keep turning at the same speed. This means that each wheel will continue to run over different distances.

For a train to remain on the track and not derail in a curve, the wheel bevels are used. Here, it is important to consider that all the wheels are correctly aligned.

In particular, when one wheel has to turn more than the other, then that wheel will have a larger diameter than the other. This is a fundamental difference between the two wheels so that the train does not derail at any time. 

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