The Steel Authority of India (Sail) has kick-started commercial production of a 130m rail from its new universal rail mill (URM) at its Bhilai steel plant. 

The single piece rail line rolled at URM is intended to be supplied to Indian Railways, which has a partnership with Sail.

Sail supplies around 800,000t of rail to the Indian railways per annum.

Sail’s Bhilai plant has already created a 260m-long rail by welding 65m rails produced from previous operations. The new 130m rail will only need one weld joint to meet demand.

"Sail supplies around 800,000t of rail to the Indian railways per annum."

Sail has set up the new URM under a collaborative modernisation programme of the company and BSP with around Rs12bn ($145.6m) of investment.

As part of the project, rail capacity is planned to be increased to seven million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) from the existing 1.2Mtpa.

The automated flash butt welding machine in the mill will be used to manufacture the new rail line through using a fully automated long rail handling facility. 

Welding activities at the complex will include binding of head hardened, as well as micro alloyed rails in the new complex.

Sail rolled out the Nickle-Copper-Chromium (NCC) alloyed rails in 2010-11 for laying tracks in the South Central Railway zone, Business Standard reported.