24 Apr 2017

British Steel rises to corrosion challenge with long length rail

British Steel has delivered another world first by becoming the first manufacturer to produce and deliver ultra-long corrosion protected rail.

It comes in response to a request from Network Rail to provide longer lengths of the rail to speed up installation and reduce disruption to passengers and freight operators.

The 216 metre length Zinoco® rails are protected with our unique and award winning corrosion-resistant coating system developed at our Scunthorpe headquarters.

The first installation of five 216m lengths of the rail has just been completed in Inverkeithing Tunnel, near Edinburgh, Scotland. The use of long length corrosion protected rail compared with traditional solutions avoided the requirement for over 50 welds to be made on site during installation – a considerable time and cost saving.

Peter Smith, British Steel Managing Director Rail, said: “I am delighted British Steel is leading the way in developing new products to meet the exacting demands of the modern rail industry.

“This is the first time we’ve manufactured 216m Zinoco® rails at our Scunthorpe site and we’re the only supplier in the world able to deliver corrosion-protected rail at this long length.

“The delivery to Inverkeithing highlights our unique capabilities, our focus on research and development and our commitment to delivering solutions to the challenges our customers face.”

Zinoco® was developed by British Steel in response to Network Rail’s need for durable corrosion protection. It is designed for use in harsh environments where corrosion determines rail life such as coastal lines, wet tunnels, level crossings, mineral lines and salt pans.

The delivery and installation of Zinoco® in Scotland required close collaboration between British Steel and Network Rail. The rails were delivered on time and British Steel’s technical team was present to support the installation contractors.

John Austin, British Steel’s Account Manager for Network Rail, said: “Network Rail chose Zinoco® as its advanced corrosion resistance properties will cope well in persistently wet areas of the tunnel.

“We are proud to have worked with Network Rail on this project and with Babcock International who installed the rails.

Graham Gilmartin, Babcock International Construction Manager, said: “The installation of corrosion resistant rail was part of the track renewal of ballast, sleepers, fastenings components and rail carried out throughout the length of Inverkeithing Tunnel."

Zinoco®, designed, developed and manufactured by British Steel at its Scunthorpe plant, is unique not just because of its length but also because of the combination of both barrier and sacrificial protection offered. The barrier function keeps corrosive elements away, whilst the cathodic protection element offers robust protection for real-life track environments.