UIC860 Standard: UIC60 Steel Rail

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The railway infrastructure is a track with all the proper facilities and other devices, which can be in function at the railway traffic. Steel rail, as an important part of the railway infrastructure, has been playing great role in railway lines and must have exactly level of quality, because the quality of steel rail has affected the functionality of the railway traffic directly. With increasing speed of trains, the high frequency of traffic and axle load and locomotives is directly related to the quality of steel rail. So railway steel rail manufacturers and railway fasteners manufacturers must lay great emphasis on steel rail.

UIC Standard and Its Influence

As we are known, UIC stands for International Union of Railways. Since 1950, the flat-bottomed steel rails have been widely used in various countries. There are many used types all over the world. The differences between them lie in the detailed geometrical dimensions. Each big country, such as the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and Australia, has developed its own steel rail with various section shapes and sizes. In the course of railway development, railway engineering industry has always been low in theoretical dependence, but the long-term experience is valued highly by people. Therefore, all the countries have been developing their railway in the closed and self-contained environment, and steel rails are no exception. Under this condition, many Emerging countries are constrained by the narrowness of their domestic market and are unable to develop and produce rails by themselves. They have to rely on foreign imports from big countries. However, they are reluctant to buy railroad rail and be subject to a long-term monopoly by railway steel rail manufacturers and railway fasteners manufacturers from railway powers. Finally, they begin to use the rail sections of the International Union of Railways (UIC) as the standard. The UIC standards were initially adopted in countries such as Europe and North Africa. Currently, they are generally accepted by the international community. Major railway steel rail manufacturers and railway fasteners manufacturers in the world have the ability to produce rails conforming to UIC standards and specifications. Though Railroad steel rail made in China has own characteristics and is mostly used for China requirements, but China railway steel rail manufacturers and railway fasteners manufacturers are capable of producing UIC steel rails because they have mastered the advanced technologies and production equipments with excellent professionals.

UIC60 Steel Rail

UIC60 Steel Rail

Steel rail types are usually represented by a combination of a group of English code and a group of strings. The former represents the reference standard, and the latter mainly represents the rail unit, for example, length, weight (kilograms, meters or pounds per yard). UIC60 means 60kg steel rail specified by UIC standard. UIC54 means 54 kg steel rail specified by UIC standard.


Good quality of steel rails shall have sufficient tensile strength, good wear resistance, higher resistance to stripping and fatigue and good weldability. UIC60 steel rail has these properties. In addition to the above-mentioned section size design that must be reasonable, it is mainly achieved these properties by adjusting the chemical composition of steel and improving the purity and smelting quality of steel. Therefore, rail chemical composition is the first feature to characterize rail quality. Strictly controlling the chemical composition of the rail is one of main ways to guarantee the quality of the rail.

Table 1 Rail Characteristics According To UIC 860-1
Steel Grade Chemical Composition, % Rm N/mm2 A5 min %
C Si Mn Cr Pmax Smax
700 0.40-0.60 0.05-0.35 0.80-1.25 - 0.05 0.05 680-830 14
900A 0.60-0.80 0.10-0.50 0.80-1.30 - 0.04 0.04 Min.880 10
900B 0.55-0.75 0.10-0.50 1.30-1.70 - 0.04 0.04 880-1030 10
1100 0.60-0.82 0.30-0.90 0.90-1.30 0.80-1.30 0.04 0.03 Min.1080 9

Carbon has the greatest influence on the properties of steel. Higher carbon content allows the rail to have higher strength, hardness and wear resistance, but it will also reduce the plasticity and toughness of the steel. Manganese can increase the strength and toughness of steel and can deoxidize sulfur. In respect of material quality, UIC steel rails in Western Europe use more manganese to increase their hardness and toughness, which belongs to medium manganese steel rails.

Mechanical properties are another characteristic of the quality of the rail. It includes ultimate strength, yield strength, fatigue strength, elongation, area shrinkage, impact toughness and hardness. These indicators have the great influence on the bearing capacity, wear, crushing, fracture and other damage of the rail.

According to UIC standard, UIC60 steel rail must confirm to related allowable wear amount. We can find from the below Table 2

Table 2 Allowable Wear Amount of UIC60
Rail Head Wear Grade I of Railway Line Grade II of Railway Line
v>160 v≤160 v>80, i>5000 v≤80, i≤5000
Vertical Wear Amount 10 16 16
Lateral Wear Amount 10 20 20
Total Wear Amount   26 32

Application Conditions

UIC860 Standard Railroad steel rail made in China

The steel rails on the railways in France, Germany, UK and Italy are mostly used for UIC60 rails. There are many famous railway steel rail manufacturers and railway fasteners manufacturers in Europe. If the clients want to buy railroad rail, they can get international standard steel rail price. However, the price must be higher than that in China. The same or similar railroad steel rail made in China has great same or similar properties, but the price is respectively cheaper due to lower labor cost and higher production efficiency.

Table 3 Application Conditions
Name Load /Mt Axle weight /kN Speed/(km×h-1)
France UIC60 ≤35 225 ≥140
Germany UIC60 >20 225 ≥140

Leading among railway steel rail manufacturers and railway fasteners manufacturers, backed by the team of skilled and trained professionals, AGICO Company can design and develop various products of steel rails using high quality raw materials by implementing latest technology and advanced techniques, which meets the international UIC standards. With accurate dimensions, stout construction, fine finish and high durability, these rails will satisfy the market demands. The other types of steel rails can be also customized as the specific requirements of clients.

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