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Steel Authority of India Limited’s (SAIL) Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) rolled out its first rake of vanadium alloyed special grade rails, R 260 for the Indian Railways, a company release said. 


The vanadium alloyed steel is a cleaner steel that would provide higher yield strength to rails and meets railways’ need for higher speed and axle load. It is in line with the specifications issued by Indian Railways Research & Development wing (RDSO) including the hydrogen content of 1.6 ppm (max.) in steel as compared to 2.5 ppm (max.) specified in the European specification.


The new rails were produced at BSP’s new Universal Rail Mill. Anirban Dasgupta, CEO of BSP had earlier said that the plant is likely to commence head-hardened rail project in the coming years, but the capacity and investments are not finalised yet. 


The Railways’ track modernisation programme would require at least 1mn mt of the head-hardened rails in the next four-five years. The new metro rail projects in India alone are likely to generate demand for 500,000mt special quality rails. 


BSP has ramped up its capacity to cater to the Railways’ needs and produce 2mn mt of normal rails, up from 0.8mn mt per annum, after the modernisation process. The plant can produce 3.153mn mt of saleable steel annually.


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