The testing of pneumatic tyres for the interpretation of tyre behaviour for Road/Rail Vehicles when operating on rails.

Stefan Olivier Muller, Mike Blundell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a programme of tyre tests using a purpose built tyre test rig designed specifically to investigate the behaviour of tyres that are used with Road/Rail Vehicles (RRVs).
When operating on rail lines RRVs use a combination of the pneumatic tyres and standard steel rail wheels to control their motion. The rail wheels maintain the directional stability on the track and the pneumatic tyres provide the tractive force to drive and brake the vehicle. Unlike standard road or rail vehicles, there is to date no predictive engineering practice that allows the use of computer simulation to design and optimise the performance of RRVs when they are operating on rails.
Computer tools, such as multi-body systems (MBS) analysis are used extensively to design both road and rail vehicles. In both these applications the behaviour is well understood and over the last half century mathematical models have been developed that allow accurate and useful simulation to support the design of new vehicles and trains.
In contrast, RRVs have evolved essentially as modifications to standard road vehicles. There is no up-front science involved in designing a RRV to perform effectively during this very important phase of its operation.
In order to develop an accurate model to predict RRV performance on rails it is clear that a model of the behaviour of the tyre when in contact with the rail is needed. The work described here addresses this with the design and build of a unique test rig that can be used to test tyres on rails for a range of operating conditions, and produce a set of initial results that provide a framework for a future tyre/rail model.
The paper concludes with a review of the behaviour measured and provides new insights into how well tyres perform on rails.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering
Publication statusSubmitted - 20 Aug 2022


  • tyre testing
  • road/rail vehicles
  • tyre behaviour
  • tyre models
  • Design and simulation


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