Tata Steel has won a two-year contract to supply over 200,000t of 108m-long rail tracks to the French state-owned rail operator SNCF.

The new order, which is an extension of an earlier contract with SNCF, was secured following a €35m investment by Tata Steel in 2011 that allowed the Hayange mill to produce 108m-long and shorter rail tracks.

Tata Steel rail sector head Gérard Glas said: "We are committed to serving the needs of our customers and SNCF is Hayange’s largest and most important customer.

"We have worked closely with SNCF to understand their requirements."

"We have worked closely with SNCF to understand their requirements and have invested in both our plant and technical areas to ensure we can continue to meet their needs.

"This contract helps to justify the confidence Tata Steel placed in the Hayange mill when the company invested in 108m rail and more recently in 108m ‘stress-free’ heat-treated rail."

The tracks will be supplied from Tata Steel’s production facility in Hayange, Northern France, while the steel will be procured from Scunthorpe steelworks plant in the UK.

Tata Steel has recently opened a new €12m heat-treatment facility at the Hayange plant. The facility will enable Tata Steel to more-than double its annual production of heat-treated rail from 55,000 to 125,000t.

Tata Steel CCO Henrik Adam said: "We made a significant investment in Hayange to be able to produce the 108m long rail required by SNCF.

"Our heat-treatment facility means we are also now able to produce highly wear-resistant rail in lengths up to 108m; a key requirement of most of our European customers."