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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Steel Dynamics to begin shipping standard rail to major railroads

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Steel Dynamics, Inc., said the company has begun commercial production of Standard Strength rails that meet all current AREMA specifications. The Structural & Rail Division at Columbia City, Ind., produces this rail in lengths up to 240 feet and is capable of producing 300,000 tons of rail per year.

The company also said that its Standard Strength rail, after extensive internal research, development and evaluation, has been tested and qualified by the first of the seven North American Class 1 railroads that are potential customers. Shipments are expected to begin in the second quarter. Evaluations by other Class 1 railroads are under way and are expected to result in additional approvals in the near future.

To secure this certification, samples of the rail produced at the rail mill have undergone rigorous evaluations by independent testing laboratories to certify adherence to the AREMA specifications.

Leveraging the Columbia City mill's ability to produce 240-foot-long rail, Steel Dynamics employs its technologically advanced on-site rail welding plant to weld rails together into continuously welded rail strings 1,600 feet long. This winter, the company completed major modifications to the rail-welding plant that allow it to operate year-around on an uninterrupted basis. Recently, the rail welding plant has seen a dramatic increase in orders for welded rail.

Dick Teets, President and COO of SDI's Steel Operations, stated, "We believe the renewed emphasis on both freight and passenger rail transportation in North America provides a unique growth opportunity for Steel Dynamics. We expect the investments we have made, our cost advantage, and our focus on delivering differentiated, quality products will allow SDI to grow quickly to become a major provider of rail to all of the North American railroad industry."

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