Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)/Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) has successfully rolled out vanadium alloyed special grade rails, R 260 grade, for Indian Railways (IR) and the first rake was flagged off on June 30, 2020 by Anirban Dasgupta, Director (P&BP) with additional charge of CEO, BSP.

 The R 260 grade of rails is targeted to meet the requirements of IR for higher speed and higher axle load. Indian Railways is moving towards higher speed and axle load rails for which it required SAIL to produce this particular 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 better life. The Rails shall be supplied in the form of 260-metre-long welded panels.

 The new grade is based on R 260 grade specifications issued by Indian Railways Research & Development wing (RDSO). The R 260 grade specification 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.  SAIL/BSP has started producing the R 260 rails from its new and modern universal rail mill.

The event was witnessed by dignitaries, including Vishwesh Chaube, Member Engineering, Railway Board, Rasika Chaube, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Steel and Puneet Kansal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel who all were connected through online platforms along with Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Chairman, SAIL and other senior officials of IR.

Chaudhary  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 their stringent technical specifications 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.”