SAIL rolls out R 260 grade rails for Indian Railways from Bhilai steel plant

State-owned SAIL on Wednesday said it has dispatched the first batch of special R 260 grade vanadium alloyed rails to meet the requirement of Indian Railways. The first consignment of R 260 has also been sent out through rake on June 30 from the company's Bhilai steel plant (BSP) in Chhattisgarh, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) said in a statement. "SAIL-BSP has successfully rolled Vanadium alloyed special grade rails, R 260 grade, for the Indian Railways and the first rake was flagged off on June 30, 2020 by Anirban Dasgupta, Director with additional charge of CEO, BSP." it said.

The R 260 grade of rails is targeted to meet the requirements of Indian Railways 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 R 260 grade and SAIL has started successfully producing the same.

The high strength of more than 550 MPa (Mega Pascal) will enable the Railways to withstand more rigorous rail traffic and also achieve better life. The rails shall be supplied in the form of 260 meter long welded panels, it said. The new grade of rails rolled by SAIL-BSP is based on R 260 grade specifications issued by Indian Railways Research and 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.

SAIL/BSP has started producing the R 260 rails from its new and modern Universal Rail Mill in Chhattisgarh. SAIL Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said, “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.”
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