The relationship between spalling formation on model wheels tread surface and cyclic fracture toughness of steels with nitride strengthening is study. It is shown that the nitride strengthening of wheel steels has a positive influence on damage resistance of surface rolling of model wheels. To improve the serviceability of wheel steels with nitride strengthening indicated the need to optimize their chemical composition providing content of carbon in the range of 0.50...0.55 %, vanadium — 0.08...0.12 % and nitrogen — 0,008...0,015 %.
Corrosion mechanism and corrosion rate of wheel steel of different chemical and structural compositions have been investigated. It has been shown that “white layers”, variation in grains size and structure streakiness of wheel steel increase corrosion rate. Wheel steel with vanadium additives corrodes more quickly than that without vanadium. Non-metallic inclusions are the centers of corrosion nucleation and their influence on corrosion depends on inclusion type. Corrosion mechanism of wheel steel has been discussed.