British Steel has delivered on a contract to supply rails to Midland Metro Alliance for the region’s urban transport system, West Midlands Metro, with the rails being used for the first phase of the the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension.
The extension, which is the largest currently under construction in the UK, will branch off the current line just east of the Wednesbury Great Western Street Metro stop, before heading through Tipton and Dudley on its way to Brierley Hill.
The extension will be delivered in two phases with the first to Dudley town centre expected to open for passenger services in late 2024. The second phase will see the route further extended to Brierley Hill.
Colas Rail, a partner in the Midland Metro Alliance, visited British Steel's manufacturing facilities in Scunthorpe to review and approve the manufacturing processes and product quality.
More than 21,000 metres or nearly 850 tonnes of 39E1 Flat Bottom rails have been successfully manufactured and delivered to the project.
Safe storage and handling of more than 850 tonnes of rail is a challenge, but working in partnership, British Steel and Colas Rail identified and agreed suitable locations through joint site visits. All rails were delivered on time and in full during summer 2023.
Darren Cole, British Steel Account Manager, said: “It is very pleasing to secure the order and provide leading solutions to our customer's supply chain requirements. The supply of UK Steel into UK rail networks is vital to the wider UK economy, providing significant environmental and social benefits alongside our world class products. We look forward to providing future supply into the West Midlands network.”
Andy Street, Metro Mayor for the West Midlands, has signed the UK Steel Charter, committing to using UK-made steel wherever possible in key projects in his region.
He said: “By signing the UK Steel Charter, we’re signalling our commitment to back British steel - supporting well paid and highly skilled manufacturing jobs and training opportunities that will benefit local people right across our region.
“This initiative can help to increase the amount of high quality steel manufactured in Britain and increase the supply of British made steel contributing to key West Midlands projects. I very much hope our decision will encourage others to follow suit – impacting positively on the supply chain, our region and indeed the wider UK economy in the months and years ahead."