Network Rail Approval of Ultra-long Zinoco® Rail Secures Multi-million-pound Investment at British Steel

British Steel will step up production of its revolutionary Zinoco® rails after the ultra-long versions of the product received full approval from Network Rail.

We’re investing a seven figure sum in new plant that will enable us to produce the premium coated rail in lengths of up to 108 metres, and welded lengths of up to 216 metres.

Rail Corrosion Protection

Zinoco®, the name of which derives from the words ‘Zinc for no corrosion’, is a world-first which can withstand the rigours of being laid in some of the most challenging rail environments. Its installation reduces the need for costly and disruptive rail replacement programmes in highly corrosive areas such as coastal lines, wet tunnels, level crossings, mineral lines and salt pans.

Peter Smith, British Steel Managing Director Rail, said:

“Zinoco® offers superior corrosion protection compared to all current rail coating technologies on the market so we’re delighted Network Rail has given it full product approval up to lengths of 216 metres.

“We’re the only supplier in the world able to deliver corrosion-protected rail at this long length so this is a great success story, not only for us but for British manufacturing.”

British Steel designed Zinoco® in conjunction with Network Rail and initially made deliveries in lengths of 18 metres before a series of trials were conducted with longer lengths.

The reduced number of welds longer lengths require not only speed up the installation process but give the rails greater integrity. Over the last 18 months longer length rails have been installed in tunnels near Bristol and Fife, culminating in Network Rail granting full product approval.

Work is already underway building the new plant to start production of the ultra-long Zinoco® rails in Scunthorpe. It’s anticipated it will be commissioned this Autumn.

Peter said:

“This investment underlines our commitment to innovation and the highest levels of product quality and service delivery.

“Network Rail, like other operators, was having to replace rail prematurely due to rapid corrosion in isolated segments of a network. We’ve worked closely with them to deliver Zinoco®, a world first and a classic example of British Steel partnering with customers to provide a cost-effective solution to the challenges they face.”

Network Rail said:

“This development will facilitate wider usage of coated rails supporting Network Rail in reducing re-railing activity in a number of key challenging locations in the future. This should ultimately support our aims of reducing the whole life cost of rail in these locations.” 

Get your news featured on Railway‑News

Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.

Follow Railway-News on LinkedIn
Follow Railway-News on Twitter
object(WP_Post)#9773 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(24983) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-08 14:27:51" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-08 13:27:51" ["post_content"]=> string(4723) "

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" }