The influence of wheel and rail profile shape features on the initiation of rolling contact fatigue (RCF) cracks is evaluated based on the results of multi-body vehicle dynamics simulations. The damage in-dex and surface fatigue index are used as two damage parameters to assess the influence of the differ-ent features. The damage parameters showed good agreement to one another and to in-field observa-tions. The wheel and rail profile shape features showed a correlation to the predicted RCF damage. The RCF damage proved to be most sensitive to the position of hollow wear and thus bogie tracking. RCF initiation and crack growth can be reduced by eliminating unwanted shape features through maintenance and design and by improving bogie tracking.