A comprehensive analytical model of the wayside noise generated by a railroad wheel rolling on straight track is presented. The model assumes that the small‐scale roughness on the running surfaces of the wheel and rail is the primary mechanism for the noise generation. Included in the model are such effects as the spatial filtering of the roughness due to the finite area of contact between the wheel and rail; the interaction between the wheel and rail, including local contact stiffness; axial response of the wheel; the radiation efficiencies of the wheel and rail; and the influence of sound propagation, including finite ground impedance.

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