Among the rails British Steel will be supplying to Network Rail are two long-life rail innovations – HP335 and Zinoco®
10 May 2022

British Steel extends Network Rail supply contract

British Steel has been awarded another major rail contract extension by Network Rail.

The 2-year agreement sees British Steel retain its position as principal supplier to the company which operates and maintains Britain’s rail infrastructure.

By the time the contract concludes in March 2024, employees at British Steel’s Scunthorpe headquarters will have supplied Network Rail with more than one million tonnes of rail (circa 19,000 kilometres) in a decade.

And in addition to the supply of rails, the contract will also see British Steel build 2 new developments to further enhance services to Network Rail. They are:

  • A multi-million-pound new storage facility for long length rails
  • A dedicated train servicing facility to allow essential maintenance to Network Rail's Rail Delivery Trains

British Steel’s Commercial Director for Rail, Craig Harvey, said: “We’re extremely proud of our partnership with Network Rail and delighted to have extended our contract with them.

“This agreement is testament to the high-quality products and services our people deliver, and we look forward to continuing our work with Network Rail to ensure millions of passengers and freight operators enjoy safe, enjoyable and timely journeys.”

The rails – which will largely be used for maintenance and renewals – will be supplied during Network Rail’s Control Period 6 (CP6), its 5-year plan to maintain and improve Britain’s railways. CP6 runs between 2019 and 2024 and is designed to make the railway more reliable and cost efficient while increasing capacity and building on its reputation as the safest railway in Europe.

Among the rails British Steel will be supplying to Network Rail are two long-life rail innovations – HP335 and Zinoco®. Products such as these reduce the need for maintenance and replacement works.

Work will start shortly on the new storage and servicing facilities, both of which will be built on British Steel’s Scunthorpe site.

Craig said: “These investments are an excellent example of how we’re working in partnership with our customers to help them overcome the challenges they face.

“The first facility will provide increased storage of long length rails (108m), which is key to providing flexibility, while the servicing facility will increase reliability and performance for trackside deliveries.”

Network Rail said: “We are pleased to continue our long-running relationship with British Steel. The Supplier plays a significant role in delivering our track maintenance, renewal and enhancement activities.  Further investment in the Scunthorpe site enables improved resilience and performance to support the provision of a safe and reliable network for passengers and freight users.”

Further details

HP335 (also known as HPrail®) was approved by Network Rail in 2012 after extensive trials and was designed to cut life cycle costs through reduced grinding frequency, reduced wear and extended rail life. It is the premium rail of choice in the UK mainline network and many light rail operators have also adopted HP335 as their high-performance rail solution.

Zinoco® is a corrosion protected rail designed to greatly extend rail life in aggressive environments such as level crossings, tunnels and coastal regions. Its success has led to a recent expansion in production facilities.