In automobiles (and other wheeled vehicles which have two wheels on an axle), the axle track is the distance between the hub flanges on an axle.[1] Wheel track, track width or simply track refers to the distance between the centerline of two wheels on the same axle. In the case of an axle with dual wheels, the centerline of the dual wheel assembly is used for the wheel track specification. Axle and wheel track are commonly measured in millimetres or inches.[2][3]

Track (measured between center line of wheels)

Common usageEdit

Despite their distinct definitions, axle track, (not to be frequently and incorrectly used interchangeably as wheel track and track width), normally to refer to the distance between the centerline of the wheels. For a vehicle with two axles, the measurements can be expressed as front track and rear track. For a vehicle with more than two axles, the axles are normally numbered for reference.[4]

Offset wheelsEdit

In vehicles with offset wheels, wheel track is distinct from axle track because the centreline of the wheel is not flush with the hub flange. If wheels of a different offset are fitted, the wheel track changes but the axle track does not.[5]


In the case of a rail wheelset the axle track is called wheel gauge and is measured from wheel flange reference line to wheel flange reference line on the wheels of a rail car or tram axle. The wheel gauge of a rail vehicle must be compatible with the track gauge of the network it runs on.[6]

Model railEdit

Model railway elements such as track, rolling stock and locomotives are categorised by their wheel or track gauge. An OO gauge model locomotive, for example, has a wheel gauge of 16.5mm.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Car Handling Basics, How-To & Design Tips ~ FREE!". Build Your Own Race Car!. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  2. ^ "BMW M3 E46". Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  3. ^ "C5 Corvette Wheelbase And Track Width". Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  4. ^ "All Lined Up". Edmunds. 15 November 2000. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Weekend Tech: Alloy Wheels". Classic Ford Magazine. 17 October 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  6. ^ MT/288 Wheelset Tread Standards & Gauging. British Railways Board. 13 December 1996. p. 24.
  7. ^ "What is OO gauge?". World Of Railways. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2021.