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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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