official did not comment on the dispute, but said the rails were supplied after stringent inspection by RITES, a Railways-appointed third-party inspecting agency, and there have not been any instances of rejection in the past years. It also claims to be fulfilling all the quality parameters of the Rail Manual issued by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) of the Railways.
“In 2019-20, SAIL fulfilled almost 98 per cent of the commitment made to the Railways with the highest-ever production of 985,000 tonne of UTS-90 rails and this year we will be meeting the entire committed quantity,” the SAIL official said.
On Mission 25 Tonne, the company said SAIL’s rails are already being used on a stretch of around 90 km in Bhilai-Dalli Rajhara mines track which carry wagons with 25-tonne axle load. “Even Vande Bharat Express, with maximum operating speed of 150 kmph, runs on SAIL rails,” he added.
The battle between SAIL and the Railways over the quality got intensified after a finding by SAIL’S research wing, Research and Development Centre for Iron & Steel (RDCIS), said the firm’s rails have the capability to achieve the strength requirement for running 25-tonne axle load and has gone beyond the yield strength requirement for about 90 per cent of the rails produced by it.
SAIL and the RDSO are also working on thick web asymmetrical rails, copper-molybdenum rails and high-strength vanadium alloyed rails to meet the requirements of the Railways.