BYLINE: Peter Mutton and Dr Bill Thomas*

Co-Chairmen, CM2006

BYLINE: * Peter Mutton is Associate Director of the Institute of Railway Technology at Monash University in Melbourne. Dr Bill Thomas is General Manager, Rolling Stock Engineering, at Queensland Rail

INTRO: The Seventh International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems in Brisbane on September 25 - 27 will look at the latest research and best practice relating to the crucial interface between wheel and rail

FOLLOWING successful events in Canada, the USA, Great Britain, Japan and Sweden, the International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems is being held in Australia for the first time, with the city of Brisbane hosting the seventh meeting.

Researchers and engineers from around the world, as well as railway and metro operators, suppliers and consultants, will be gathering for CM2006, organised by Materials Australia (p588). The theme is ’combining scientific and practical knowledge for the safe and economic operation of railway systems’. This has been chosen to reflect the important interaction between research and practice.

The focus of the conference series is the tiny zone of contact between wheel and rail that determines the destinies of most railways. No successful railway survives without having some knowledge of the art and science of dealing with this domain.

Solving problems associated with vibration, noise, wear, and fatigue in wheel-rail contact requires an understanding of conditions and material response within the contact patch. Wheel and rail damage, which result from undesirable and/or severe contact conditions, are a major cost driver for railway operators and track managers respectively.

Within the programme, 90 papers will consider contact mechanics, material response and strength, rolling contact fatigue, as well as wear and residual stresses. Other topics include wheel-rail design, measurement of wheel-rail contact and train-track dynamics, plus friction control and lubrication, rail corrugation, noise and special trackwork.

Addressed by the leading practitioners in their many fields, conference delegates will, we hope, seize the opportunity to participate in discussions covering recent developments in the understanding of the wheel-rail interface and the latest practices in damage mitigation.

An exhibition is also being held in conjunction with CM2006.

Further information on CM2006 can be found at: