SAIL’s BSP begins production of vanadium rails for Indian Railways

By Rakhi Mazumdar for Economic Times India Times
Kolkata: Steel Authority of India NSE 3.24 %’s Limited (SAIL) Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) flagged off the first rake containing vanadium alloyed special grade rails, R 260 grade, for the Indian Railways. The R 260 grade of Rails is targeted to meet the requirements of Indian Railways for higher speed and higher axle load. The rake was flagged off on June 30, 2020, by Anirban Dasgupta, Director (P&BP) with additional charge of CEO, BSP.
Commenting on it, Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Chairman, SAIL said: “It has been a constant endeavor of SAIL-BSP to develop new value-added products for its esteemed customer, Indian Railways by making required changes in processes to meet stringent technical specifications of the Indian Railways and cater to their changing needs. This vanadium micro-alloyed steel would provide higher yield strength to rails. The new grade will not only ensure cleaner steel but will also provide better mechanical properties.”SAIL-BSP has been producing the exact specification based rails for the Indian Railways throughout its decades-old association, he added. BSP has started producing the R 260 rails from its new and modern Universal Rail Mill.

Indian Railways is moving towards higher speed and axle load rails for which it required SAIL to produce R 260 grade and SAIL has started successfully producing the same. The high strength of more than 550 MPa (Mega Pascal) will enable Indian Railways to withstand more rigorous Rail traffic and also achieve a better life. The Rails shall be supplied in the form of 260 meter long welded panels.

The new grade of rails rolled by SAIL-BSP is based on R 260-grade specifications issued by Indian Railways Research & Development wing (RDSO). R 260-grade specification issued by RDSO is more stringent than the European specifications on many parameters, including the hydrogen content of 1.6 ppm (max.) in steel as compared to 2.5 ppm (max.) specified in the European specification.

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