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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Steel Dynamics, L.B. Foster partner to provide 1,600-foot welded rail strings for St. Lawrence & Atlantic


Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) and L.B. Foster Co. recently teamed up to produce and deliver 1,600-foot welded rail strings for the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SL&A).

In late June, the companies shipped the rail, which was produced from 240-foot lengths manufactured and welded by SDI at its Columbia City, Ind., mill — the first time in the Western Hemisphere 240-foot lengths were welded and shipped in 1,600-foot strings, according to L.B. Foster. Typically, 80-foot lengths of rail are welded into 1,600 foot strings.

“By reducing the number of individual rails and the number of welds used in a mile of track, railroads could significantly reduce the probability and frequency of track weld failures, and reduce overall track maintenance costs,” said Paul Kotsenas, SDI’s rail and special products manager, in a prepared statement.

L.B. Foster provided handling and drilling support, its welded rail train to transport the strings and a crew to unload the rail at SL&A’s project site. Owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc., the 260-mile short line received the shipment in mid-July.

Next year, SDI plans to provide rail in 320-foot lengths. The company will spend $75 million to increase the Columbia City mill’s annual rail and structural steel capacity by 2 million tons.

By fourth-quarter 2008, SDI will install a second caster to produce larger quantities of semi-finished steel. The company expects to eventually produce 300,000 tons of rail annually.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/1/2007