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The method of failure modes, effect and criticality analysis (FMECA) is one of absolutely necessarily elements in reliability systems engineering. The effective application of FMECA can improve the freight car quality and reliability. The basic principle of FMECA is introduced. The method to apply FMECA into bogie failure of railway freight car is proposed. The quantitative and qualitative evaluation for failure effects are realized by means of computer aided technology. We can obtain every failure circumstances and their criticality degree, find out potential failure bottleneck problems and put forward corresponding modified measures. The proposed method provides a valuable reference for the modification of structural design, maintenance decision and life management of the bogie.