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WheelChex is a brand name for a Wheel Impact Load Detector (WILD) system used by Network Rail.

This line-side equipment measures the impact upon the railhead of each wheel of a passing train (eg, if it has a wheel flat), and provides details of all trains with wheel loads outside acceptable limits.

When an alarm message is generated by WheelChex, Network Rail Operations Control will identify the train involved and notify the signaller at the centre through which the train will shortly pass.

This will enable the train to be stopped at a suitable location for the driver to examine the wheel-sets concerned.

The train can then be taken out of service, or speed restricted to minimse the possibility of derailments or damage to track caused by wheel defects or overloaded vehicles.

The WheelChex at Braidwood made the news on 29th September 2004 when an alarm was generated by 390041 working the first relaunched "Royal Scot" Glasgow - London Euston at the launch of Virgin West Coast's accelerated timetable. The train was terminated early at Carlisle.

WheelChex locations in Scotland

Name Mileage Direction Route
Braidwood WCM1: 80m 1276y Up & Down West Coast Main Line, south of Carluke
Innerwick ECM8: 33m 1374y Up & Down East Coast Main Line, south of Dunbar
Howwood AYR3: 12m 1700y Up & Down Paisley - Ayr line
New Cumnock GSW: 56m 1540y Up & Down Kilmarnock - Dumfries - Carlisle line
Philpstoun EGM1: 32m 22y Up & Down Edinburgh & Glasgow, east of Linlithgow