White Paper

Rail Vehicle Wheelset Back-to-Back Distance Measurement and Monitoring Practices


This rail white paper aims to assemble the best practices for measurement and monitoring of rail vehicle wheelset back-to-back distance.

Document History
Document Number Version Publication Date Publication Related Information
APTA RT-WRI-WP-001-23 Original 6/28/2023 Published Current


back-to-back distance, derailment safety, vehicle/track interaction


This document will help agencies understand the best practices of wheelset back-to-back distance measurement and monitoring including the method of measurement and frequency of measurement. This document will cover only the back-to-back distance measurement and monitoring practices. This document will not cover wheelset assembly and press fit requirements. For commuter and intercity rail vehicles, wheelset assembly requirements are addressed in APTA PR-M-S-019-17, “Passenger Wheel Set Assembly.” For rail transit vehicles, given the variability between the designs, it is best to follow manufacturer guidelines.

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