An engineering model for rolling contact fatigue (RCF) of railway wheels is developed. Three well-known types of fatigue in wheels - surface-initiated fatigue, subsurfaceinitiated fatigue and fatigue initiated at deep material defects - are accounted for. Fatigue impact is quantified by three fatigue indices expressed in analytical form. The model can easily be integrated in a multibody dynamics code without significantly increasing computational demands. A powerful tool for optimizing train-track configurations with respect to fatigue performance should result. In this paper, theoretical foundations, benefits and limitations of the model are presented. An example of a postprocessing analysis of data from a dynamic simulation of train-track interaction is given.
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