The article refers to the importance of the aspect of durability and reliability of wheelsets. It contains a short analysis of railway accidents in which the causes were failures of wheelsets. The paper lists most common faults occurring in the course of the wheelsets operation. The major problem of the paper were laboratory analyses of fretting wear developing in interference joints. The research has been conducted using a wheelset comprising a shaft and a sleeve. Fatigue tests in conditions close to the wheelset operating environment have been conducted. The laboratory analyses included macroscopic observation that indicated fretting wear signs on both sides of the wheel seat in form of a 3.5 mm wide ring around the entire perimeter. The following procedures included microscopic observations in the wear signs area, that indicated numerous material accumulations exposed to plastic deformation and oxidation.