18 Jun 2018

British Steel awarded London Underground rail framework extension

Transport for London (TfL) has activated a two-year contract extension with British Steel for the supply of rails to London Underground. 

Since being awarded a Framework Agreement in 2012, the company has supplied over 42,000 tonnes of rail for use on the track infrastructure – over 85% of TfL’s annual rail requirements. 

The agreement will see revolutionary rail products, designed and manufactured in the UK, continue to be installed on the Underground – reducing operational costs and journey times for passengers. 

Peter Smith, British Steel’s Managing Director Rail, said: “We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with Transport for London and helping ensure the world’s most famous rail network continues to meet the demands of millions of passengers. 

“By working closely together we’re able to develop and install new and unique products that maximise track availability and allow trains to run faster, thus providing major benefits for operators and their customers. 

“We look forward to continuing to work with TfL and London Underground to deliver timely and cost-effective solutions to the challenges they face.” 

The Framework extension for rail supply will see British Steel supply London Underground with around 4,000 tonnes of rail per year and for the first time this will include: 

HP335 – an award-winning rail designed to reduce wear, plastic flow and rolling contact fatigue, therefore reducing the need to carry out costly and time-consuming repairs 

Zinoco® - the only coated rail of its kind in the world which provides protection in harsh and corrosive conditions, extending track life and thereby reducing the frequency at which rails must be repaired or replaced. 

Both rails have been given formal product approval by London Underground. 

Peter said: “Our technical expertise and support has enabled London Underground’s engineers to gain greater value for money from their rail, and the introduction of HP335 and Zinoco®. 

“They demonstrate our commitment to helping operators maximise network availability through the integrity of our products. By supplying rails with extended life, like HP335 and Zinoco®, not only do you get a lower life cycle cost you also get more track-up time as you reduce the frequency of replacement and intermediate maintenance works. 

“In addition, we’ve consistently received London Underground’s highest rating for on-time delivery and product quality, and we’re committed to improving upon this.”

HP335 facts 

  • HP335 (High Performance) is designed to provide an optimum balance of high wear resistance and excellent rolling contact fatigue resistance

  • It’s a non-heat-treated rail designed for curved track and other high duty areas, where it’s proven to improve wear resistance, cut life cycle costs, reduce grinding frequency and extend rail life
  • Suited to a wide range of applications, HP335 was approved for use by Network Rail in 2012 and is the premium rail of choice in the UK mainline network. Several light rail operators have also adopted HP335 as their premium rail solution for reducing wear, corrugation and grinding requirements
  • The high performance of HP335 rail means reduced life cycle costs for infrastructure owners/operators. Savings of more than 60 per cent have been independently quantified where HP335 has been used as a replacement for R260

 Zinoco® facts

  • Zinoco® was designed, and is manufactured at British Steel’s Scunthorpe HQ

  • With superior durability and corrosion protection, Zinoco® typically extends corrosion life by over a factor of 3, delivering improved safety and availability of rail networks

  • Zinoco® is unique 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

  • With Zinoco® coated rail, the zinc rich (anode) coating corrodes in preference to the steel (cathode), therefore preventing the steel from corroding. The zinc oxide creates a strong barrier to further corrosion – in this way the protection of the metal is guaranteed, even if the coating is damaged

  • View, link to and embed our Zinoco® video by clicking here