The head-hardening technique is designed to increase the durability of the rails, thereby reducing maintenance costs and allowing trains to run at higher speeds.

Certification of the head-hardened rails was carried out at the test loop of the Russian Railway Research Institute. "Fatigue and crack-resistance laboratory tests of the rails showed compliance with the best international practices, and these positive lab results have since been supported by field tests," says Evraz.

Evraz says it is the first company in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States to manufacture head-hardened rails. As well as supplying Russian Railways (RZD), Evraz hopes to be able to export its head-hardened rails.