British Steel has won two multi-million-pound contracts to supply 86,000 tonnes of rail to Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, the manager of Italy’s railway infrastructure.
The agreements – which include the delivery of 18,000 tonnes of its unique premium Stress-Free heat treated rail – quickly follow two other major deals British Steel has secured with national rail operators.
The agreements follow contract wins with Network Rail and Belgian rail operator Infrabel. Richard Bell, British Steel’s Commercial Director Rail, said: “For each of our agreements with RFI, Network Rail and Infrabel, we’ve had to go through a rigorous tendering process so these contracts are excellent demonstrations of our ability to provide first class products and services in highly competitive markets.”
Of British Steel’s latest contracts with RFI, one is for 68,000 tonnes of its standard grade rail and the other for 18,000 tonnes of its premium heat-treated SF350 rails. Both deals are for rail in lengths of 108 metres.
The premium SF heat treated rails are designed for use in curved or heavy haul tracks where wear and fatigue are significant issues. Mr Bell said: “This range is increasingly popular as rail is being asked to perform for longer in heavier traffic.
“We developed ‘stress-free’ heat-treated rail to address the industry needs for high resistance to wear, rolling contact fatigue and improved foot fatigue performance to extend the service life of rail and thereby reduce the whole life cost.
“Products like this reduce the need for costly and lengthy maintenance and replacement programmes thereby maximising track availability and allowing trains to run for longer – major benefits for operators and their customers.”
British Steel first made its premium heat-treated rail in 1984 and has since supplied more than one million tonnes of it across six continents – enough to build a railway from London to Beijing.
The steel for the SF heat treated rails is made at the company’s headquarters in Scunthorpe before being transported to British Steel’s state-of-the art rail rolling facility in Hayange, France. Once there it’s rolled into rails and further strengthened using British Steel’s special heat treatment process.
Mr Bell added: “Our SF range is another excellent example of British Steel working in partnership with customers to understand the needs of the rail sector and these agreements demonstrate how we can develop innovative and value-adding products to directly address those needs.
“Our technical team is always available to provide advice and support, helping operators to optimise their rail selections. Our rail products and grades can be matched precisely to track conditions, track types, environmental conditions and a host of other variables to ensure that every rail we deliver provides optimum performance throughout its life.”