State-owned steel maker SAIL plans to commence commercial production of head hardened (HH) rails in this fiscal, its chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said. HH rails are special rails used in high-speed freight corridors and metro rail projects. Such rails are manufactured using the head hardening technology to bear about 50 per cent higher pressure compared to normal rails.
Steel Authority India Limited (SAIL) has set up facilities for the production of HH rails at the new Universal Rail Mill (URM) at its Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in Chhattisgarh, and the cold trials for the same have already been completed, Chaudhary said.
"Though the commissioning of the facility has got delayed on account of COVID-19 pandemic, the company is planning to commence commercial production of the Head Hardened Rails during the current financial year as per the requirement of Indian Railways," he told while responding to a query related to the production of HH rails.
Without elaborating further, he said the company meets the requirement as and when an order is received from the Railways.
He said the Railways is moving towards higher speed and axle load rails and recently it required R 260-grade rail for its use. SAIL-BSP successfully rolled and supplied the R 260-grade vanadium alloyed special grade prime rails to the national transporter.
In July 2020, the company dispatched the first batch of special R 260-grade vanadium alloyed rails to meet the requirement of Indian Railways.
Chaudhary further said, "SAIL has a long relationship with the Railways and it is one of the most trusted partners of the Railways. We have supplied railway tracks to IR which, if measured, can circumnavigate the earth more than twelve times."
Indian Railways is implementing its ambitious plan for track renewal and laying of new lines.
Steel Authority India Limited (SAIL) has set up a new 1.2 million tonne per annum universal rail mill (URM) at a cost of about Rs 1,200 crore, as part of its modernization programme for Bhilai Steel Plant, to produce different types of rails. The 130-meter rail rolled at URM is the world's longest rail in a single piece.
"BSP produces the cleanest rail steel in the world with hydrogen content below 1.6 ppm at Tundish level. Equipped with secondary refining units, the steel melting shops at BSP have the capability to produce a wide variety of steel. SAIL is now in a position to meet the entire requirement for rails of Indian Railways and further strengthen the partnership with IR," the company said.