Multi-million pound Italian rail deals secured by British Steel

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 13 Dec 2018

British Steel has won two multi-million pound contracts to supply 86,000 tonnes of rail to Italy.

The agreement with Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, the manager of the country’s railway infrastructure, includes 18,000 tonnes of its premium Stress-Free heat treated rail, and follows two other major deals at home and abroad.

In September, the Scunthorpe team had its Network Rail contract extended for a further two years, with Belgium following with a four-year agreement in October. 

Richard Bell, British Steel’s commercial director for rail, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded these contracts which reflect the excellent working relationship we have with national rail operators and our ongoing commitment to delivering high quality rail in Italy.

“For each of our agreements with RFI, Network Rail and Infrabel, we’ve had to go through a rigorous tendering process so these contracts are excellent demonstrations of our ability to provide first class products and services in highly competitive markets.”

British Steel’s rail distribution hub in Lecco, northern Italy.

Of British Steel’s latest contracts with RFI, one is for 68,000 tonnes of its standard grade rail and the other for 18,000 tonnes of its premium heat-treated SF350 rails. Both deals are for rail in lengths of 108 metres.

The premium SF heat treated rail - with steel manufactured in Scunthorpe before being rolled in France - is on top of 68,000 tonnes of standard grade rail, and is designed for use in curved or heavy haul tracks where wear and fatigue are significant issues.

Read more: £15m rail scheme will allow Britain to 'embrace Brexit opportunities' - Northern Powerhouse Minister

Mr Bell said: “Our SF range is increasingly popular as rail is being asked to perform for longer in heavier traffic. We developed ‘stress-free’ heat-treated rail to address the industry needs for high resistance to wear, rolling contact fatigue and improved foot fatigue performance to extend the service life of rail and thereby reduce the whole life cost.

“Products like this reduce the need for costly and lengthy maintenance and replacement programmes thereby maximising track availability and allowing trains to run for longer – major benefits for operators and their customers.”

British Steel opened a rail logistics hub in Lecco, northern Italy, last year to service demand. It can provide a full range of high quality long length rail with just-in-time, and reliable, delivery anywhere in the country.

Mr Bell added: “Our customers recognise we provide excellent quality and reliability and, as demonstrated by these contracts, Lecco is enabling British Steel to better serve Italy’s network providers with premium rail solutions.”

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