The recent establishment of companies in South Africa and Botswana marks a major expansion for the Italian signalling and technology group Ansaldo STS. Ansaldo STS Southern Africa has been created as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ansaldo STS Australia, with its principal office in Gaborone, Botswana. The Ansaldo STS-InfraDEV South Africa joint venture is based in Johannesburg.

CKD Vagonka was renamed Skoda Vagonka with effect from March 26. The Ostrava-based rolling stock supplier has been part of the Skoda Holdings group since 2005, and is currently building two EJ 575 City Elefant 25 kV AC EMUs for Lithuanian Railways.

Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis announced on April 2 that it had acquired Polish rail infrastructure and transport consultancy Elekol for an undisclosed price. Established in 1992, Elekol has 40 staff, revenues of around €3m and margins 'above the target' for Arcadis.

German rolling stock builder Fahrzeugtechnik Dessau AG lodged a formal insolvency application on March 25. The company was taken over by Transmash Holding in 2006, and currently has 168 staff. Attorney Dr Volkhard Frenzel has been appointed provisional insolvency manager.

Russian steel maker Mechel has announced plans to open a US$500m rail and structural steel mill in 2010. It will supply RZD with up to 400 000 tonnes of rail a year, in lengths of up to 100 m.

With effect from March 25, consultancy Interfleet Technology has moved its London office from Canary Wharf to larger premises near Liverpool Street station. The firm is also opening an office in Edinburgh in May.