SAIL-BSP inches closer to produce world’s longest rail

SAIL’s Bhilai plant starts hot trials of Universal Rail Mill – the best Rail Mill in Bhilai Steel Plant: Experts are contacted for best rail track

Raipur: The new Universal Rail Mill (URM) of state-run Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) has achieved the milestone of successfully rolling out the first rail through its Tandem Mill.

The feat would pave way for the steel maker to roll out 130-meter rail from the mill located in Chhattisgarh’s Durg district. The 130-meter rail would be World’s largest rail in a single piece. The new URM is part of BSP’s modernization programme that would scale up capacity to 7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant during April 2016 had initiated hot trials of its new state of the art 1.2 mtpa (million tonne per annum) Universal Rail Mill. The Reheating Furnace of the Universal Rail Mill was lit up on March 25, 2016, following which hot blooms were rolled from the new Mill’s Rolling Stand No 1 on Thursday. The lighting up of Reheating Furnace and hot trials of Universal Rail Mill (URM) are important milestones towards commissioning of URM as also in Bhilai’s seven million tonne (mt) Modex Programme.

A SAIL spokesperson said technology and equipment suppliers along with BSP team were working relentlessly for last one and half month to make the Tandem Mill ready for rolling. “With the trial rolling of more than 100-meter-long rails from Tandem mill, BSP is only inches away from the commercial production of world class and longest rails,” he added.

The URM has a capacity of producing 1.2 million Tonnes of rails. It would help the company to meet the specific demand from the Indian Railways. The BSP is the sole supplier of rails to the Indian Railways that had been demanding 260-meter rails for the past two years.

According to company officials, the plant was fulfilling the demand by welding 65-meter rails that the plant was producing from the old set-up. The 130-meter rail that the plant’s new URM would roll out, would require only one weld joint to meet the demand of Indian Railways’ order.

Under the modernization programme, long rail welding complex had also been set in the BSP. With proven technology for world class rail welding, the 1.1 mtpa complex is equipped with fully automated flash butt welding machine to weld rails of 130-metre length and fully automated long rail handling facility. Welding of head hardened and micro alloyed rails can be carried out in the new complex.

The commuter enjoys a safe and bump less-ride and the railroad company saves on track life and maintenance. The BSP had in fact established long rail production facilities in 2004 at a cost of INR 400 crore to cater to the demand for long rails from Indian Railways.


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