||An experimental and modelling approach has been applied to study the mechanism of railway disc cracking. Braking tests on a full size pilot bench are reported. The effect of the pad type on thermal loading, the disc is submitted to, has been assessed by infrared thermography and thermocouples implanted in the brake discs and pads. Thermal loadings recorded by thermography have been used for thermomechanical modelling. Eventually, results of tests and models are correlated to the actual damage observed on discs.