The addition of vanadium to rail steels can increase the tensile strength from about 700 N/mm2 to over 1,200 N/mm2 and thereby increase the wear and fatigue resistance of the rails.  Special vanadium steels are used to increase the life of the rails and reduce track maintenance in many countries, including Russia and China, and high performance rails containing vanadium, consisting of pearlitic or bainitic microstructures, are being developed and tested in Europe, Japan and the US.