East Japan Railway.

East Japan Railway has announced that its third European Suppliers Tour will visit München on May 16 and Brussels on May 18, offering companies the chance to discuss business opportunities in areas including, but not limited to, rolling stock, track and signalling.

Smiths Group has unified its EMC Technology, Hypertac, IDI, Lorch, Millitech, RF Labs, Sabritec, TECOM and TRAK brands under the single Smiths Interconnect name. 'Aligning all this activity under the Smiths Interconnect name will make us a more streamlined partner, enhancing our customers’ access to the combined strength of our products, expertise and application knowledge', said Smiths Interconnect President Roland Carter.

On March 3 France signed the Luxembourg Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, which is intended to facilitate private financing of rolling stock.

Software firm Ideagen introduced Ideagen Coruson as the new branding for its Gael Enlighten cloud-based enterprise safety management and incident reporting software, which is used by organisations including the UK’s Rail Safety & Standards Board and Virgin Trains.

Hit Rail and Almaviva have announced a non-exclusive strategic agreement to work together to develop, implement and test systems that enable compliance with TAP and TAF regulations. Almaviva will focus on software development and hosting, while Hit Rail will bring its understanding of European legislation.

A test batch of rails designed to be suitable for 400 km/h operation has been produced at Evraz’s Novokuznetsk steel mill. The certification process is underway.

A memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture to provide supply chain and consultancy services in Saudi Arabia was signed by Unipart Rail and Arabian Railway Co at the Middle East Rail trade fair on March 7.

Spanish company Acciona is to buy Australian engineering and construction group Geotech for A$197m; three Geotech executives will receive a 17·6% stake in a new Melbourne-based subsidiary, Acciona Geotech Holding. Acciona said Geotech had an established track record, backlog and know-how in mid-sized projects, particularly in the rail sector.

Georgian Railway has completed what it says is the first deployment of SAP's S/4HANA business systems automation software on a railway in the former USSR.

The Smart Card Alliance has expanded its remit to include a broader range of technologies, and changed its name to the Secure Technology Alliance. ‘The technology used in smart cards is being used more widely in mobile devices, wearables and internet-connected devices’, said Executive Director Randy Vanderhoof on March 8. ‘The clear next step for this organisation is to expand and engage in activities across the full spectrum of these new applications‘.

Morgan Sindall Professional Services has been renamed BakerHicks. ‘Although we have always operated as a wholly-independent design and engineering consultancy, our former name suggested an attachment that potentially confused our “independence” story‘, said Managing Director Martin Lubieniecki. ‘With our new name and identity, we can both celebrate being an endorsed brand within the Morgan Sindall Group, but with a name that allows us to return to our roots and enable potential clients not to be distracted by an association either real or imagined.’