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Green rails for sustainable mobility solutions

The concept behind these "green rails" is based on the circular economy model. Saarstahl Ascoval, another subsidiary of the Saarstahl Group, recycles industrial scrap for the environmentally friendly production of the rails. It is sourced in particular from the Saarstahl Rail plant and from various railway networks, such as that of the French railway company SNCF or that of the Belgian infrastructure company Infrabel. Last year, for example, SNCF delivered 40,000 tonnes of scrap rails to Saarstahl Ascoval for the recycling process. The scrap is melted down there in an electric arc furnace (EAF) and delivered in blooms to the plant in Hayange, where the new "green rails" are rolled.

The entire production process is extremely environmentally friendly, as it already reduces CO2 emissions by more than 70 per cent compared to the conventional production process, which is based on iron ore and coal as raw materials. In 2022, a total of 262,000 tonnes of rails were delivered in Hayange. Of these, 227,000 tonnes were produced using "green" methods, which means a bottom-line saving of 415,000 tonnes of CO2.

Contract awarded for sections in major Paris project

The green rails are mainly used on high-speed lines and in local traffic, but also in heavy goods traffic. Saarstahl Rail has been awarded the contract for two sections of the "Grand-Paris Express" infrastructure project, which will connect Greater Paris with the existing metro network by 2030. So far, a total of more than 6,000 tonnes of rails have left the plant in Hayange, and a firm order has been placed for a further 12,000 tonnes. When the major project is completed in 2030, the Paris metro network will be able to carry an additional two million people a day.

Saarstahl Rail's product portfolio comprises a total of more than 100 rail sections, which can be supplied in 25 steel grades and in lengths of up to 108 metres.

Saarstahl Rail is a subsidiary of the Saarstahl Group, which is headquartered in the German town of Völklingen, and specialises in the production of rolled wire, steel bars, semi-finished products as well as forged products in sophisticated qualities in response to global challenges such as mobility, energy efficiency and safety.

Rails in a close-up.

227,000 tonnes of the total 262,000 tonnes of rails delivered from Hayange in 2022 were "green". Photo: Saarstahl Rail