OREANDA-NEWS. February 9, 2012. Shri Dinesh Trivedi, Union Minister for Railways, visited Bhilai Steel Plant of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) today. He was accompanied by Union Minister of State for Railways Shri K.H. Muniyappa, Railway Board Chairman Mr. Vinay Mittal, Member (Engg.) Mr. A.P. Mishra, and other senior officials from the Indian Railways.

In his address to Bhilai employees, Shri Trivedi appreciated the success of the long business relationship between the Indian Railways and SAIL and acknowledged that it was being strengthened further through the continuous initiatives being taken by SAIL & Indian Railways to meet the growing requirements of the Railways, both technical and volume-wise. SAIL plants like in Bhilai occupy pride of place in India's industrial firmament and SAIL and Indian Railways together are strengthening the foundations of the country, he remarked. Shri Muniyappa complimented Bhilai employees for their achievements and remarked that SAIL and Indian Railways have to grow and progress together.

SAIL Chairman Mr. C.S.Verma stated that SAIL is proud to contribute about 7% of the total freight business of the Indian Railways in India, in both volume and monetary terms. Describing Indian Railways as SAIL's most important customer, he added that SAIL is already the sole supplier of rails to the Indian Railways including long rails of 260 metres. Till date SAIL has supplied more than 16 million tonnes of rails to the Railways, with a total rail length of around 4 lakh kilometres, enough to encircle the earth 9.5 times. The bond has been further strengthened with collaborative efforts with IR, such as

* a JV with RITES to set up a wagon manufacturing unit at Kulti in West Bengal to annually manufacture 1,200 wagons and undertake rehabilitation of 300 wagons; and

* an MoU signed with BSCL and feasibility study completed for setting up a wagon components manufacturing factory at Jellingham, West Bengal on a JV basis.

SAIL is investing Rs. 1,600 crore in a new state-of-the-art Universal Rail Mill of 1.2 million tonne capacity being set up at Bhilai. The mill, which is likely to be operational by next year, shall produce single 130-metre rails, with a provision for welding them up to 520-metre lengths. Moreover, the mill has been designed to produce heavier rail sections up to 75 kg/m and head-hardened rails for the first time in India.