British Steel has secured a major German rail contract after enhancing its manufacturing capabilities with a seven-figure investment. The deal will see the company deliver around 20,000 tonnes of 120 metre rail a year to Deutsche Bahn, Europe’s largest purchaser of rail.
It comes after the company spent £1m enhancing its Scunthorpe Rail and Section Mill so It could manufacture this longer-length rail. Before the investment, the longest rail British Steel could produce was 108 metres – a standard length in the domestic market. However, many European rail networks are based on lengths of 60 and 120 metres.
The initial contract is for 21 months and will see the new 120 metre length rails delivered to Germany through the Channel Tunnel. The requirement for shorter lengths such as 60 metres will be satisfied using the flexibility of both mills. The first 120 metre shipment is due in March.
Siemens has signed a long-term agreement for lease of land in Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire, with plans to establish a new state-of-the-art factory to manufacture and commission trains. This development, which could mean an investment of up to £200m, is a major step forward for Siemens’ journey in the UK.
Siemens aims to start phased development of the 67-acre site later this year, if investment conditions are met, and subject to the company’s success in major future orders.
The new factory could employ up to 700 people in skilled engineering and manufacturing roles, plus an additional 250 people during the construction phase.