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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Nippon Steel Rail Source?


Date: 09/03/10 17:33
Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: MSchwiebert

Recently CSX dropped a string of new 136 lb. welded rail here in Perrysburg OH. (presumably for replacing the existing 136 lb rail on the curve here in town). I noticed that the rail is manufactured by Nippon Steel. Does Nippon have a facility here in the US or did this product come from Japan?



Date: 09/03/10 17:40
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: SOO6617

Japan. Normally these are premium rail with special qualities to last longer in high wear locations, like reverse curves. The US rail mills make standard rails that are used on straight sections or gentle curves. This makes up the majority of the rail used. In the recent past ThyssenKrupp in Germany also has supplied premium rail to US railroads.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/10 17:54 by SOO6617.



Date: 09/03/10 17:58
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: MSchwiebert

Thanks! That does make sense as it looks like it'll replace the current inner rail on the curve.



Date: 09/03/10 18:41
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: im_trainman

As a side note, Nippon rail is junk. On the anchor boxer machine, there are height blocks that have to be changed for different rail heights. The rail changes sizes frequently, and me and one other operator have measured the rail multiple spots within a 5 foot section, only to come up with 5 different rail heights. We don't have that problem with Mittal rail at all.



Date: 09/03/10 21:30
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: nikon1

im_trainman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a side note, Nippon rail is junk. On the anchor
> boxer machine, there are height blocks that have
> to be changed for different rail heights. The rail
> changes sizes frequently, and me and one other
> operator have measured the rail multiple spots
> within a 5 foot section, only to come up with 5
> different rail heights. We don't have that problem
> with Mittal rail at all.


I agree whole heartedly with this. The UP installed Nippon rail on the curves in Little Russia in Topeka, KS and ended up replacing the rail with in 2 years as Nippon rail just couldn't handle the stresses.
Charlie
MP 53 on the BNSF Topeka Sub



Date: 09/03/10 21:38
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: newriver400

I understand NS tried Nippon or possibly a Chinese made variety on the Chicago Line and had tons of trouble, especially in cold weather.



Date: 09/03/10 22:44
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: im_trainman

We still lay the Nippon crap, before hell week, that's all we laid down on the Mon Line. I don't know the specifics on what makes a good compound for steel in welded rail, but Arcelor Mittal does it well, its very uniform in height, and once you have the rail anchor machines set properly, you can snap anchors on all day, whereas Nippon, you have to adjust and re-adjust, change the height blocks, and re-adjust some more. We also have issues breaking the 35 dollar a piece drill bits for the joints on the Nippon rail, out in Indiana at a derailment, we went through 6 bits on one hole. Another company that makes good rail, and I cant figure out who it is, is rail that has the markings VT on it.



Date: 09/04/10 10:10
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: SOO6617

im_trainman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We still lay the Nippon crap, before hell week,
> that's all we laid down on the Mon Line. I don't
> know the specifics on what makes a good compound
> for steel in welded rail, but Arcelor Mittal does
> it well, its very uniform in height, and once you
> have the rail anchor machines set properly, you
> can snap anchors on all day, whereas Nippon, you
> have to adjust and re-adjust, change the height
> blocks, and re-adjust some more. We also have
> issues breaking the 35 dollar a piece drill bits
> for the joints on the Nippon rail, out in Indiana
> at a derailment, we went through 6 bits on one
> hole. Another company that makes good rail, and I
> cant figure out who it is, is rail that has the
> markings VT on it.

"VT" means Vacuum Treated, in other words the initial cooling is done it a vacuum to remove the oxygen that causes bubbles in the steel as it escapes during the earliest stages of cooling. Another common marking on rail was "CC" for controlled Cooling, however this has largely been superseded by "VT" as a superior method for the prevention of Oxygen bubbles. The reason that the railroads buy foreign steel is because the domestic manufacturers like ArcelorMittal and Oregon Rolling Mills (formerly CF&I) don't make specially hardened rail steels. The extra hardening is what causes the bits to wear out or break.



Date: 09/04/10 20:56
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: aric_4103

wow another AMERICAN company buying materials from foreign company's, cant imagine how this country got into the trouble its in!!!!!!!



Date: 09/06/10 07:54
Re: Nippon Steel Rail Source?
Author: MSchwiebert

It appears to be more of an issue of availability (Nippon & Krupp make the "speciality" grades of rail - and the "domestics" do not) than an "American" v. "Foreign" issue....

aric_4103 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> wow another AMERICAN company buying materials from
> foreign company's, cant imagine how this country
> got into the trouble its in!!!!!!!



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