The Network Rail depot in Eastleigh has a new rail recycling facility which bosses say will save them £4m a year.
The new facility can produce 216m lengths of serviceable rail, recycled from used rail removed from around the railway. The recycled lengths are up to 70% cheaper than new rail and can be safely used on low volume and rural routes.
The depot first opened in 2001 to weld new 108m rail into 216m lengths ready for renewing track. The recent upgrade means it can now produce up to 10,000 tonnes of 216m recycled serviceable rail – around 8% of the total rail required every year. This is alongside 50,000 tonnes of new rail produced at Eastleigh every year.
Network rail explained:
“When we replace old rail, we inspect it to assess how much we can reuse. We then thoroughly test it before we process it at the Eastleigh depot. We remove all rail that is not suitable for reuse, and then weld the remaining rail together to form 216m lengths.”
Martin Elwood, a Director said:
“Recycling old rail into serviceable rail which can be used elsewhere on the railway reduces the volume of rail which is scrapped and the amount of new steel used by Network Rail, both of which save money and are better for the environment. Network Rail is committed to reducing costs and this is the latest initiative which is helping the railway become a more efficient industry.”