Leading UK steel maker British Steel announced that its conductor rails are set to help revolutionise rail services for passengers to and from London Waterloo as South Western Railway invests GBP 1 billion into an innovative engineering project. Their investment will see a new state of the art depot in Feltham in London and a 90 strong fleet of brand new high tech trains that are expected to deliver a more reliable, modern and faster service for passengers. The full fleet of Arterio trains, which comprises 750 carriages, are to be phased in over the coming years and are expected to enter passenger service in 2021.
British Steel UK Supply Chain Account Manager Rail Mr Darren Cole said “We’ve worked closely with VolkerRail to supply 3,500 metres of our 75kg conductor rail to the site. This is a massive investment that will deliver a step-change in passenger experience and it’s great that our rail is playing a key part in this transformation. The prime requirement for conductor rails is excellent electrical conductivity, so good performance goes right back to our steelmaking process where we carefully control the steel specification to meet these requirements. For a smooth sliding contact, the rail must have good dimensional control and excellent surface quality. This contributes to long rail and shoe life, so helps manage costs over the long term. Our stringent production processes mean we’re able to supply the high-quality rail needed for this project.”
Conductor rails provide current to power rail vehicles a sliding shoe on the train picks up the current. They’re an alternative to overhead power lines and so are particularly useful where there are height restrictions above the track.