Damage modes, causes, and effects of railway wheel set are investigated from wide production fields. And then, the reliability strategies are classified as service reliability and development reliability. The development one includes design, material and manufacturing, quality approval/authentication, which is a basis of the service one. The service one is the true product quality, which has not only the basis of development reliability but also the effects of non-destructive monitoring level, damage analysis and assessment capacity, and repairing and renewing policies. Reliability of wheel set is so important that a series of code-based regularities have been issued by professional societies or associations. Optimal design is a most effective way to improve wheel set reliability. And in service, non-destructive inspection and repair opportunities are valuable to be synthetically programmed. The critical damage defect/flaw sizes should be scientifically determined. Three advances in strength reliability field should be introduced. They are affordable and appropriate method for reliability assessment and fatigue life prediction including the super long life regime, no-Paris type crack growth models which include crack initiation, stable growth, and approach fracture, and fatigue S-N relation derived from short cracking growth behaviour.