13 Feb 2017

British Steel delivers 16km of rail as part of £350m Metro renewal

British Steel has delivered 16km of rail for the latest phase in the revamp of the Tyne and Wear Metro system in North East England.

The works are part of a £350m programme of modernisation on the Tyne and Wear Metro system. Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is replacing the Metro’s ageing tracks to ensure passengers receive a smoother and more reliable service.

Peter Smith, British Steel’s Managing Director for Rail, said: “Helping the UK and other countries develop and maintain rapid transit systems is a key objective of British Steel.

“This latest supply showcases new products which will increase rail life in service, giving significant capacity gains to the Metro system.

“We are looking forward to working with Nexus and their supply chain partners to develop the system further in the future.”

The order for 900 tonnes of rail is the second delivery of its kind by British Steel and will be used to upgrade lines between the Chillingham Road and St James’s stations in Newcastle. The first delivery, of 936 tonnes, renewed rail between Tynemouth and Northumberland Park stations in North Tyneside.

The rails were manufactured at British Steel’s Scunthorpe steelworks before being handed over to contractor TXM Rail for fabrication and installation.

British Steel Project Manager David Benton said: “This is the beginning of a four-year rail renewal framework lasting until 2020, and TXM were impressed with our speed of turnaround.”

Meanwhile, the company has directly supplied rail to Nexus for track tunnel replacement - with 481 tonnes of High Performance rail HP335 and 17 tonnes of British Steel’s new corrosion-resistant Zinoco® rail.

The direct supply of Zinoco was part of a programme of track replacement in the Tyne and Wear Metro’s tunnels in December, and forms part of Nexus’s £350m Metro: all change modernisation programme. 

Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “The replacement of the track is a vital project to secure the future of the Tyne and Wear Metro for the 39 million people who travel on it every year.

“It’s fantastic that British–made steel is going to be used on such an important and iconic project.”

Rail Services Director for TXM Rail, Mark Wood, said: “For TXM Rail, as the Track Framework Contractor for Nexus, it was a privilege to be awarded this contract. The six packages offer varied track renewal based challenges with opportunities to introduce innovations to the industry.

“The relationships between TXM Rail and our key suppliers is extremely important in ensuring that we get the right product for the right price delivered on time and with the best quality available. The relationship with British Steel is top priority for this project, especially due to the constrained access and unloading restrictions.

“The relationship between the two parties has to be mutually agreeable and rewarding. The project is just starting its second package and so with four packages still to come, this gives plenty of opportunity for the companies to strengthen the relationship even further to ensure that Nexus, as the client, get the best quality product at the best price available.

  • British Steel supplied rail in two grades for the latest delivery to TXM Rail for the works between Chillingham Road and St James’s stations - 500 tonnes of the company’s premium HP335 grade and 400 tonnes of the standard R260 grade
  • HP335 is British Steel’s innovation on its standard R260 grade rail, and includes technological innovations including 300% more wear and corrugation resistance
  • Nexus favoured the premium HP335 grade rail for use on curved parts of the track due to its superior resistance to wear and corrugation