CORUS RAIL last week launched a new £4M steel plant which will make longer rails which will be quicker to install.
Until now the longest rail Corus could produce came in 183m lengths, made up of five rails needing four welds. The plant at Castleton, Lancashire will enable Corus to produce 216m long welded rails comprising three individual elements and only two welds.
With less welding on site, track possessions can be more productive, according to Corus Rail welding plants manager, Jim Hepburn. 'This will give a commercial advantage and we could be using the new longer welded rails on site as early as July.'
A similar specialist plant was built for the Heathrow Express project, which was the first in the UK to use such long sections of rail.
The Castleton plant has a new rail end cleaning machine, welder, straightening press and fully automatic profile grinding machine. Rail handling facilities have also been upgraded.