British Steel receives two large orders from Italian railway network operator

by David Fleschen

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), operator of the Italian railway network, has signed two contracts with British Steel worth several million pounds. Under the terms of the agreement, British Steel will supply 86,000 tonnes of rail material to Italy. The new agreement will include the supply of 18,000 tonnes of rails from high-quality heat-treated and stress-free SF steel. Recently, similar contracts have been signed with two other major railway operators.

In September Network Rail, the operator of the British rail network, announced that it would extend the supply contract with British Steel for another two years. And in October, Infrabel, the operator of the Belgian rail network, signed a four-year contract with British Steel.

Richard Bell, Commercial Director of British Steel and responsible for the rail business, states: "We are delighted that we have received these contracts, as this shows that the cooperation with such important rail network operators as Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) is exemplary and our business partners trust in the high quality of our rails. »« Before signing the contracts with RFI, Network Rail and Infrabel, our company has undergone a very rigorous selection process. Again, this proves that our products and services are of the highest quality to meet even the high demands of this highly competitive market. "One of the new contracts with RFI includes the supply of 68,000 tonnes of rails from a standard steel grade. The other is about 18,000 tons of rails made of the high-quality, heat-treated SF350 tension-free steel. All rails to be delivered have a length of 108 meters. The high-quality rails made of heat-treated SF steel were specially designed for heavily loaded, winding roads and heavy goods traffic, because wear and fatigue present network operators with special challenges. Click here to watch a video about our SF steel rails.

Richard Bell comments: "Our SF-steel tracks are in such high demand because the lines have to last longer, even in heavy-duty traffic." "With our" tension-free ", heat-treated rails, we have responded and responded to the special requirements of the industry This product is characterized by high wear resistance, low rolling contact fatigue and good resistance to rail damage. This increases rail life and reduces total cost of ownership. "" Using such rails eliminates costly and lengthy maintenance and service. As a result, the lines can be operated longer, which is an advantage not to be underestimated for both the operators and the customers. "In 1984, British Steel produced the first rails of high-quality, heat-treated steel. Since then, more than a million tons of these rails have been delivered on six continents - enough to build a railway line from London to Beijing. The SF steel for the heat treated rails is manufactured at British Steel's headquarters in Scunthorpe, England, and then delivered to the company's state-of-the-art rail rolling mill in Hayange, France. There it is shaped and subjected to the special heat treatment process developed by British Steel. In this continuous heat treatment process, induction heating is followed by cooling with spray modules.

All individual work steps are monitored so closely and interact so well that the rails do not have to be straightened after this heat treatment. This results in stress-free rails with a long service life. Comparing the British Rail SF rails with conventional R350HT rails, it is noticeable that any cracks in the rail foot of the SF rails may be three times as large as to cause fatigue failure. Due to the special heat treatment process, the internal stresses in the rails of the SF350 steel grade are so low that even after a first cracking, the rails can still travel twice as long as rails produced by conventional methods. Tests showed that British Steel's SF rails with the same service life (5 million cycles) showed 67% less fatigue than heat-treated rails using traditional methods. Bell adds, "Our SF range is another great example of how closely British Steel works with its customers to better understand the needs of railway operators. And the new orders prove that we are able to develop innovative and high quality products that best meet these needs. »

Source: British Steel, photo: fotoalia

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