British Steel Awarded London Underground Rail Framework Extension

Transport for London (TfL) has activated a two-year contract extension with British Steel for the supply of rails to London Underground. 

Since being awarded a Framework Agreement in 2012, the company has supplied over 42,000 tonnes of rail for use on the track infrastructure – over 85% of TfL’s annual rail requirements.

British Steel

The agreement will see revolutionary rail products, designed and manufactured in the UK, continue to be installed on the Underground – reducing operational costs and journey times for passengers.

Peter Smith, British Steel’s Managing Director Rail, said:

“We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with Transport for London and helping ensure the world’s most famous rail network continues to meet the demands of millions of passengers.

“By working closely together we’re able to develop and install new and unique products that maximise track availability and allow trains to run faster, thus providing major benefits for operators and their customers.

“We look forward to continuing to work with TfL and London Underground to deliver timely and cost-effective solutions to the challenges they face.”

The Framework extension for rail supply will see British Steel supply London Underground with around 4,000 tonnes of rail per year and for the first time this will include:

HP335 – an award-winning rail designed to reduce wear, plastic flow and rolling contact fatigue, therefore reducing the need to carry out costly and time-consuming repairs

Zinoco® – the only coated rail of its kind in the world which provides protection in harsh and corrosive conditions, extending track life and thereby reducing the frequency at which rails must be repaired or replaced.

Both rails have been given formal product approval by London Underground.

Peter said:

“Our technical expertise and support has enabled London Underground’s engineers to gain greater value for money from their rail, and the introduction of HP335 and Zinoco®.

“They demonstrate our commitment to helping operators maximise network availability through the integrity of our products. By supplying rails with extended life, like HP335 and Zinoco®, not only do you get a lower life cycle cost you also get more track-up time as you reduce the frequency of replacement and intermediate maintenance works.

“In addition, we’ve consistently received London Underground’s highest rating for on-time delivery and product quality, and we’re committed to improving upon this.”

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Steel Rail Products for Global Railway Applications

British Steel is a modern company with 150 years of rail heritage. Our steel rail products are designed to meet the 24/7 needs of the railway industry, whether it be mainline, heavy haul, tramway or metro, all supported by the expert knowledge of our technical services team. We offer over 100 different rail profiles ranging from flat bottom and grooved to asymmetric and conductor, to suit a whole variety of applications. We produce a number of premium grades, each designed with your track conditions in mind, to give you more rail life with fewer maintenance requirements. [gallery ids="24992,24995,24996"]

Flat-Bottomed Vignole Rails

Our flat-bottomed vignole range has about 60 different profiles which are suited to mainline, metro, heavy haul and some urban applications. It is available in both high quality standard grades e.g. R260 and also in a range of premium grades to help you address key industry issues:

Heat-Treated Rail

Stress-Free heat-treated rail is suited for use on heavy haul routes and in locations with high volumes of traffic. It not only has excellent resistance to wear, but because it doesn’t require straightening after hardening, it also has uniquely low residual stresses (≤50MPa) in the rail foot, meaning less chance of foot failure – a leading cause of failure in national rail networks.

Maximum Head Hardness Rails

MHH, our micro head-hardened rails, are the most wear-resistant of our Stress-Free range, double that of R350HT, meaning they’re perfect for use in tightly curved track and heavy haul.

Non-Heat-Treated Rails

Our non-heat-treated High Performance rail HP335 (HPrail®) offers superior protection against wear and rolling contact fatigue. Developed with Network Rail, this has become the premium rail of choice in the UK. Independent research has stated that converting your track from R260 to HP335 could result in savings of more than 60% over the life of the rail.

Bainitic Rail for Exceptional Resistance to Rolling Contact Fatigue

Changing track towards switch blades and movable points, our Bainitic Low Fatigue grades provide exceptional resistance to rolling contact fatigue. Over a decade of use in high speed track across France, Switzerland and the Channel Tunnel has proven its performance and the grade is now mandated for high-speed movable points in France.

Grooved Rail

Going intercity and changing to urban lines, we have around 20 different grooved rail profiles on offer for tramways across the world, both in standard and premium grades. Our Multi-Life grooved rail range is designed for tight curves and helps extend urban track life through its high resistance to wear and through its ability to be weld-restored in-track. This brings huge advantages to tramway passengers and road users alike, avoiding disruptive city centre rail replacements.

Rail Profiles for Metro Applications

We also produce a variety of special rail profiles for metro applications – check rails, piste rails and electrical conductor rails all form part of this portfolio, in addition to specific rail profiles, made to customer order.


Environmental conditions often provide a range of challenges to the industry and we’ve got a variety of solutions to help you conquer these:

SilentTrack® Noise-Reduction Rail System

Noise nuisance in urban areas has resulted in noise legislation being introduced. Our noise-reduction rail system SilentTrack® was created as a response to this and has been helping urban networks achieve train pass-by noise reduction of up to 3-6dB(A) for over a decade. It’s retro-fittable and visually unobtrusive too, so is a great, cost-effective alternative to acoustic barriers.

Rail Corrosion Protection

Rail corrosion occurs in locations where water and salt collide such as level crossings, tunnels and coastal regions, and is a scourge to rail operators due to its ability to eat away the foot of the rail without being detected. Zinoco® is the most durable solution available for rail corrosion protection due to its dual lines of defence: excellent resistance to impact and abrasions, and sacrificial protection, which means it still works even if the coating is damaged. Rail corrosion affects the head too – track circuit signalling needs reliable electrical contact between the wheel and rail. In low traffic areas rail head corrosion can interfere with this interface – Sogenox® solves this by providing a stainless steel crown on the rail to deliver assured electrical contact without compromise." ["post_title"]=> string(13) "British Steel" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(13) "british-steel" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-10-25 15:21:49" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-10-25 14:21:49" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(60) "" ["menu_order"]=> int(15) ["post_type"]=> string(9) "suppliers" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" }