13 Jun 2019

Steel innovation sparks standards challenge award

British Steel has been recognised at the recent Rail Partnership Awards for challenging Network Rail’s standards to improve the cost effectiveness of route electrification.

The Rail Partnership Awards from Network Rail and Rail Media brings together the supply chain to celebrate the very best of 2018’s achievements in the rail industry.

British Steel Construction Account Manager Gordon Hodgson was presented with the Best Standards Challenge Award at The Vox, Birmingham by Network Rail Chief Engineer Jon Shaw and Television Presenter Julia Bradbury.

Gordon said: “Network Rail challenged the railway supply chain to increase innovation and creativity, to allow more cost-effective solutions by altering the standards it works to.

“We saw opportunities to improve the cost-effectiveness of electrifying UK rail networks by modifying the overhead line mast design. Current design standards mean some masts are fabrication-intensive, use higher cost products and require structural steel not currently produced or stocked in the UK.”

Network Rail has indicated that amendments to the standard could provide:

  • UK economic boost, helping increase UK-sourced steel to over 97 per cent
  • Locally sourced materials, reduced lead time, reduced carbon footprint
  • Lower manufacturing cost
  • Lower material cost
  • Lower transportation cost
  • Potential for up to 50 per cent cost saving for certain designs

British Steel Rail Account Manager John Austin said: “Our Rail and Construction teams have formed a close working relationship with Network Rail, who’ve an excellent record of supporting UK manufacturing. By working in partnership, and accepting challenges like this, we hope to make it easier for Network Rail to source more high quality, cost-effective products manufactured in the UK.”