This follows successful testing carried out at Russia's Rail Transport Research and Development Institute, which is now developing the technical specifications to weld HH350 rail.

The new rail, which is available in lengths from 8 to 100m, is designed to withstand temperatures as low as minus 60oC, which occur during the winter months in northern Russia and Siberia. Evraz says high damage tolerance at low temperatures should increase service life and reduce maintenance costs while reducing the risk of derailment.

Evraz says it took just one year to develop the new rail type. "Our engineers developed a special grade of steel and identified the parameters for hot rolling, which together help attain the required impact resilience characteristics, or, in other words, ensure resistance to low temperatures," says Mr Aleksey Ivanov, vice-president and head of Evraz' steel division.