UK Firm Delivers Ultra-Long Zinc-Coated Rail


British Steel has announced that 200-meter lengths of its corrosion-resistant Zinoco rail have been put into service as part of a Network Rail project in Scotland in what the company calls the first example of ultra-long corrosion-resistant rail in use.

British Steel, a spinoff of Tata Steel formed in 2016, introduced Zinoco last summer, having developed the product at the request of Network Rail, the agency responsible for the U.K’s rail lines. Zinoco (which stands for “Zinc No Corrosion”) is made by covering the steel rail with a zinc oxide coating.

The zinc oxide, the company explains, offers both barrier protection and corrosion protection in the form of a sacrificial anode. Testing at British Steel’s Scunthorpe headquarters showed that the new rail line can be expected to outlast traditional uncoated rail by around five times in a variety of aggressive environments, according to the company.

Zinoco in Use

In November, the company supplied 108-meter (354-foot) lengths of the rail to Network Rail for a project in the Patchway Tunnels, between Cardiff and Bristol.

The newest project involves 216-meter (709-foot) lengths delivered for installation in the Inverkeithing Tunnel, near Edinburgh. British Steel says the use of the ultra-long corrosion-resistant rail pieces helped eliminate some 50 welds that would have been necessary to make on site using more traditional materials.

Network Rail has said that about 96 percent of its steel is made at the Scunthorpe facility—previously under the Tata name—and now as British Steel. The agency signed a contract with the company in 2016 for the delivery of about 288 million pounds’ worth of steel through 2019.


Tagged categories: Barrier coatings; Coating Materials; Europe; Rail; Sacrificial coatings; Steel; Zinc anodes; Zinc oxide

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.