SBB Cargo has begun using automatic couplers as part of a project which it see as a important step towards partial automation of ‘last mile‘ rail operations. It has equipped 100 intermodal wagons and 25 locomotives with Voith Cargoflex couplers at a cost of SFr15m, including SFr9m provided by the federal government, and has trained 200 staff to use them.

InRail inaugurated a rolling stock maintenance workshop in the Italian city of Udine on May 9. Developed at cost of €3·5m by reopening a closed site, the ​​15 000 m2 facility includes maintenance sheds with the capacity to work on eight locomotives at once, a washing plant, classrooms for staff training, offices and staff welfare facilities.

On May 15 the European Investment Bank board approved a €250m loan for the €1·2bn construction of a second track on a new alignment between Divača and the port of Koper in Slovenia.

On May 15 Kaisun Holdings Ltd and China Railway Engineering Construction Mongolia signed an agreement for construction works at the Mongolia Choir Railway Platform, a freight facility in the city of Choir on the trans-Mongolian railway 250 km southeast of Ulaanbaatar. This provides loading and unloading, warehousing, customs declaration and logistics services to support freight traffic on the Russia – Mongolia – China corridor.

The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Summer Meeting, to be held at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on July 15–16 will discuss the impact of Precision Scheduled Railroading on shippers. ‘As more railroads move to implement the principles of PSR, shippers need to know how it will affect their operations and profitability‘, said MARS President Tom Surma.

Kazakhstan’s KTZ has begin testing a real-time driver advisory system on the Nur-Sultan to Ekibastuz route. This calculates the optimal speed profile, taking into account the characteristics of the locomotive, train and route. Roll-out is planned to start at the end of the year on Alstom/TMH KZ8A freight and KZ4AT passenger electric locomotives and TEP33A GE/LKZ passenger diesel locos.