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voestalpine Starts Operation of a New Production Facility for Turnout Components in France

18 June 2009 | 

VAE GmbH and its Spanish investment JEZ Sistemas Ferroviarios S.L., both companies of the listed voestalpine Group, officially began operation of a new plant for turnout components today (Thursday) in South-West France, near the Spanish border.

  • Total investment close to EUR 18 million.
  • The fully-automated plant will provide jobs for more than 70 employees when completed.
  • The VAE Group as the global market leader in turnout technology now has 41 plants in 20 countries.

VAE and JEZ each hold a 50% interest in the new production company, which operates under the name Materièl Ferroviaire d’Aberats and is one of the most up-to-date manufacturers of cast manganese steel frogs worldwide. Total investments were close to EUR 18 million. In the final completion stage, the fully-automated production facility will provide jobs for 73 employees and have an annual production capacity of 3,500 units. It is the first production site of voestalpine Group’s turnout technology segment in France.

Cast manganese steel frogs are key components of turnouts located at the point where the straight and branch tracks cross. They are one of the most highly stressed components in the track system of railways, subways or tramways, and are characterized by their long life and cost effectiveness. The new French production facility draws on the excellent expertise available in JEZ’s existing cast manganese steel frog plant in Spain.

The target groups of the new company are European and overseas railways that are upgrading their networks with advanced track technology, whereby the use of cast manganese steel frogs gains increasing importance.

The VAE Group

The VAE Group is a company of the voestalpine Group. This company is the global market leader in the manufacture of switches and turnout systems. The Group now operates 40 plants in 19 countries on all five continents. Annual sales amount to approximately EUR 650 million, comprising the manufacture of switches and HYTRONICS, i.e. operating, monitoring and safety equipment for railway systems. Globally, more than 4,800 people are employed by the VAE Group.

voestalpine Group

voestalpine is a globally active group with a number of specialized and flexible companies that produce, process and further develop high-quality steel products. The Group is represented by 360 production and sales companies in more than 60 countries. With its highest quality flat steel products, voestalpine is one of Europe's leading partners to the automotive, white goods and energy industries. Furthermore, voestalpine is the world market leader in turnout technology, tool steel and special sections, as well as number one in Europe in the production of rails. The voestalpine Group generated revenues of EUR 8.55 billion in the business year 2009/10 and employs around 41,000 staff throughout the world.