A contract to supply highly wear-resistant rail for the London, UK-based Crossrail project has been awarded to Tata Steel.

The Crossrail project runs beneath London and will serve 40 stations. It will travel 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through central London underground to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Tata will supply more than 57km of its heat-treated, wear-resistant rail – in weight terms 7kt of steel.

Gérard Glas, Tata Steel’s rail sector head, said the Crossrail project would have a huge impact on ‘improving the commuter experience’ in London.

“Rather than using traditional methods of heating and cooling, Tata Steel has developed a system where the rail moves through an induction furnace which uses an electromagnetic field to heat the steel to 950C. The rail is then rapidly cooled using compressed air. The resulting uniquely low residual stresses provide further protection against risk of failure compared to other in-lne heat treatment processes,” he explained.

Crossrail’s steel will be manufactured at Tata’s production site in Scunthorpe and then rolled in Northern France at the company’s Hayange mill.