R3.119 Locomotive Adhesion

High adhesion locomotives have been available and in use for many years. Work is still required to better match their control systems to Australian practices and conditions. There are also concerns about the impact of their braking forces on the rail across various operating scenarios.  

The researchers are analysing the control of high adhesion locomotive forces and how these could affect the life of the rails.

Project Status:

This project will assess the damage and stresses caused to rail by high adhesion locomotives compared to lower performance locomotives. The key deliverable will be a report on rail contact forces associated with high adhesion. This output will provide information in ‘common language’ (i.e. rail contact forces) allowing infrastructure owners to assess impacts and costs and adjust management plans accordingly.


This project is developing a greater understanding of rail stresses associated with modern high adhesion locomotives. Such understanding is expected to improve targeting of rail maintenance and increase the adoption of modern high adhesion locomotives; taking advantage of improved performance and reduced capital costs.