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Steel worker operating a crane which is lifting and placing long length rail.
07 Dec 2016

British Steel marks Rail anniversary with European contract win

British Steel is celebrating the 10th anniversary of rail production at its Scunthorpe plant today (Wednesday 7 December 2016) with the news it has secured another contract in Europe.

On December 7 2006, the company replaced the old rail facility in Workington with a new one in Scunthorpe. It has since rolled more than 1.5 million tonnes of rail – enough to lay track between London and Delhi.

And the landmark has been made even more significant by the announcement the Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) has chosen to use rails made by British Steel for the sixth consecutive year.

Peter Smith, British Steel’s Managing Director Rail, said: “This is an important contract for us in a very competitive market place. The full contract will be split 50/50 between British Steel and another supplier, with our half of the contract seeing 5,500 tonnes of steel being delivered by April 2017.

This will be produced at our Scunthorpe Rail and Section Mill, which is now 10 years old. The first deliveries will be made to the FTA over the coming weeks and the fact they have chosen us again is testament to the high standards we set.

This is a major exporting contract for one of our target markets and it comes as a boost against strong European competition. There are only four other approved bidders competing to supply the FTA, reflecting their strict requirements for service and quality.”

The steel will be used for the agency’s annual maintenance work, which will see the British Steel rails used across multiple sites.

British Steel’s Scunthorpe Rail and Section Mill (SRSM) opened in 2007 after the rail production plant in Workington was deemed incapable of producing the length of rail needed for future market demands.

Premium equipment for the new mill was sourced from across the globe and Peter said: “The plant was designed to service UK rail demand, specifically long rail for Network Rail, but over the years we’ve seen our range of profiles, products and markets grow to meet demands from across the world.

“Our Scunthorpe rails are now in track networks from Finland to Algeria and then down to Chile, and in locations as diverse as South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Our major domestic customer is Network Rail and I’m proud to say our relationship with them has gone from strength to strength.

“We’re able to deliver 100% on time, week in, week out. This is critical as we supply the vast majority of their rail requirement, so the performance of the country’s rail network depends on successful operations at SRSM.

“As we look forward we continue to see a great future in rail. It’s exciting the Government is talking about an industrial strategy and talking about improving transport infrastructure, particularly in the north of the country with projects like HS2, for which we expect to be a significant supplier.”