The condition monitoring of bearings and wheels is pivotal in ensuring the safe and efficient transport of freight within the railway industry. Bearing seizures remains an issue that can lead to catastrophic train derailments, affirming the importance of effective monitoring practices. Existing wayside detection devices, such as Hot Bearing Detectors (HBDs) and Trackside Acoustic Detection Systems (TADS™), track, respectively, the operating temperature and acoustic emissions of bearings at discrete intervals as trains pass by these systems. However, these systems have demonstrated inaccuracies in fault detection causing unnecessary and costly train stoppages and delays. Furthermore, bearing operating temperatures have exhibited random trending events associated with roller misalignments in the absence of defects. This work aims to provide the rail industry and stakeholders with comprehensive bearing operating temperatures for healthy and defective bearings at typical rail service operating conditions. The data presents two decades worth of laboratory experiments performed on AAR Class F and K railroad bearings and includes bearings with defective cup (outer ring) and cone (inner ring) raceways of varying severity. Interestingly, the data shows that bearings with relatively small defects operate at temperatures indistinguishable from healthy bearings. This raises concerns regarding the ability of HBDs to identify and detect faulty bearings with sufficient time to perform preventative maintenance. Nevertheless, the data presented provides the railroads with insight into healthy and defective bearing temperature metrics.

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