The operators of the iron ore railroads in the Pilbara faced problems of excessive wear between rail and wheels as the tonnage hauled increased in the early 1970’s. Joint research projects were begun between Hamersley Iron, Mt Newman Mining and the BHP Melbourne Research Laboratories to study these problems and recommend solutions. The particular problems of wheel rail interaction were solved by asymmetrical profile grinding of the rail and modifications to the machining of the wheels. Rail materials were improved through increasing yield strengths by alloying and by heat treatment. Wheel materials were improved by alloying. The economic benefits of these improvements have been demonstrated by much reduced re-rail requirements and other reduced maintenance costs.