A WORLD-LEADING flooring and cladding firm's composite materials could "revolutionise" the rail industry, it is claimed.

Dura Composites, based in Telford Road, Clacton, supplies products used in flooring and structures for the construction and rail industries.

In recent years the firm, launched in 1996, has set its sights on expansion and exporting to India.

Composite materials include high-strength, low-weight glass reinforced polymer, which are durable, non-conductive and non-corrosive as well as being lighter-in-weight and having the ability to reach new fire standards.

Dura Composites has used the materials to construct station platforms, flooring, handrails, trackside walkways, pedestrian footbridges and bridge walkways.

The use of composite materials ensures that refurbishment works can be completed quicker resulting in less passenger disruption.

Clacton MP Giles Watling, who is chairman of the Great Eastern Rail Taskforce, visited the firm as part of the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Rail Fellowship Programme.

Stuart Burns, managing director of Dura Composites, said: “We were delighted to host Giles and the Railway Industry Association as part of the Rail Fellowship Programme, and to show them the power of composite materials.

"Dura Composites has seen a huge increase in the use of composite materials in industries such as Power and Energy thanks to their compelling lifecycle cost and overall versatility, but there is still work to be done in showcasing its immense potential for speeding up improvements to rail infrastructure.

"Both rail asset owners and end-user passengers can benefit from high-strength, low-weight and durable solutions which are designed to reduce incidents and accidents at the platform edge through clever features such as anti-slip surfaces and height adjustable capabilities, and which can be installed more efficiently and cost effectively than traditional materials across the network”.

Mr Watling said the composite materials could "revolutionise" the rail industry.

He said: “It was fantastic to see how they are developing innovative products for a range of industries.

"In particular, the rail industry and its customers could hugely benefit from the widespread use of composite materials.

"It’s brilliant to see these innovations are taking place in the rail sector – and are having a real impact on passengers.

"I’m proud that we have such a world-leading company right here in Clacton.”

David Clarke, Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association, said the rail industry is working to develop more innovative products and services to reduce costs, increase capacity and improve the passenger experience.