British Steel has won its largest ever order for rail sleepers with a major export deal for West Africa. British Steel’s Export Sales Manager, Rail, Jérôme Bonef said: “This is fantastic news for our business, particularly given the high-level of competition we faced to secure this contract. Our steel sleepers provide the perfect technical solution to the challenges facing rail operators in this region, and we’re proud to have been chosen to support such a major project.”
British Steel’s contract with the Guinea Bauxite Company (Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée, CBG) will see it deliver 20,000 tonnes of its 436 profile steel sleepers over the next year. Guinea is estimated to possess more than a quarter of the world’s supply of bauxite and as it continues to increase its export capacity, it needs to upgrade existing freight lines. The UK manufacturer has partnered on the project with Trackwork which processes the rolled sleeper into its finished form, and Pandrol which is providing the railway fastenings to secure the sleepers.
Jérôme added: “We have long-term partnerships with Trackwork and Pandrol. Together we’re able to provide a complete global supply chain solution involving processed steel sleepers and railway fastenings. This enables us to meet all heavy haul technical requirements and deliver a cost-effective and timely solution to our customer.” Steel sleepers are stronger and more durable than wooden sleepers which have been traditionally used in African regions. Steel sleepers are also 100 percent recyclable. Additionally, the transportation of steel sleepers is much more efficient than the transportation of their concrete equivalents, as they are lighter and easily stacked - road vehicles can carry three times more steel sleepers than concrete, meaning lower transportation costs.
Trackwork Sales manager Dave Roberts said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of securing this contract; the most significant single order for steel railway sleepers in the long history of our partnership with British Steel. Succeeding in the face of such high-level competition bears full testament to the expertise, competence and quality within our long-established global supply chain.” Pandrol Sales and Commercial Director UK, Iqbal Chadda, added: “Pandrol are proud to have collaborated in this unique project, which brings together the finest range of British products and expertise in order to provide a complete sleeper and rail package for West Africa. The Pandrol team worked alongside British Steel to design a bespoke cast steel shoulder with an E-Clip, that together provide an anti-vandal feature.”