What Is the Weight of a Rail Car Wheel and Axle?

A rail car wheel and axle can weigh between 11 to over 400 pounds. The full weight depends on the manufacturer, as well as the type of wheel and axle used to make the assembly.

A rail car may use a standard wheel and axle combination assembly or a stub axle, which includes additional components such as an axle tube, bushings and other components. The stub axles propel rail cars in areas that require certain height, width or length restrictions, such as inside a mine. Aluminum and steel stub axle assemblies are much lighter than standard rail assemblies and can weigh between 11 to 20 pounds. The average load capacity of such stub axles is 2,500 pounds.

Standard wheel assemblies made of steel and ductile alloy can weigh between 235 to 480 pounds. The lighter-weight assemblies have an average load capacity of 10,000 pounds, while the heavier assemblies have an average capacity of 40,000 pounds.

The weight of the assembly depends on the type of wheel being used. For example, KLW wheels by themselves weigh between 363 to more than 2,300 pounds. However, rail car wheel weights often indicate the weight of either the wheel assembly as a whole, or the load weight the assembly can carry, rather than the separate weights of the individual wheels and the axle.