Network Rail has awarded a £23m, six-year contract to Corus to weld up to 100,000 tonnes of high quality new rail each year.

The rail will be welded at a new centre, which is being built alongside a rail service centre at Corus’ site in Scunthorpe.

‘Network Rail’s task is to build even further on the progress we have already made, transforming Britain’s railway into one that is world-class,’ said Deputy Chief Executive Iain Coucher. ‘The award of these contracts will play an important part in delivering smoother journeys and a more reliable rail network for passengers and freight services.’

According to Network Rail, the new centre is a key part of the continuous welded rail production process, which will open in Scunthorpe in 2007. The rail-welding contract follows a seven-year supply contract worth between £40m and £50m, which was awarded to Corus at the end of last year.

The rail from the depot, once welded using specialist machines, will be transported using specially adapted trains that will carry the long lengths of rail to work sites across the country.