The timetable change on December 12 was marked by a spate of urban rail openings in Germany, including the 5·2 km tram Line 6 from Rotes Tor to Friedberg West in Augsburg, a 1·8 km extension of Köln tram Line 5 from Rektor-Klein-Str to Butzweilerhof and a branch of Hannover tram Line 7 from Paracelsusweg to Schierholzstrasse. The opening of the Niederursel – Riedberg – Kalbach link introduced two new routes, U8 and U9, in Frankfurt, while in Stuttgart the 2·8 km U6 extension to Fasanenhof Schelmenwasen was accompanied by several route changes.
EIB signed a €150m loan with Vietnam on December 6 as part of a funding package for the first phase of metro Line 2 in Ho Chi Minh City. ADB will lend US$540m while German development bank KfW has pledged €240m. Work on the 11·3 km Ben Thanh – Tham Luong line started in August and is due for completion in 2016 (RG 10.10 p16).
MPK Kraków inaugurated a 4·5 km extension of tram routes 11 and 20 to Lipska Street on November 19. The next section to the Uniwersytet Jagiellonski III campus is due to open in 2012 (MR 6.09 p10).
The MBTA commuter station at T F Green Airport on the Providence – Stoughton Line entered commercial service in Warwick, Rhode Island, on December 6. The airport will initially be served by six northbound trips and five southbound trips on weekdays.
EIB has signed a loan agreement covering its €119m contribution towards the cost of construction and rolling stock purchase for the first phase of the Réseau Ferroviaire Rapide suburban railway in Tunis. Phase I envisages a 17·9 km, two-line Y-shaped network with 14 stations (RG 11.10 p16).
On behalf of Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario has published an invitation to prequalify for the contract to build a 3 km spur from GO Transit’s Georgetown line to Pearson International Airport in Toronto. Submissions are due by January 11.
Four-tracking of the Monte Abraão - Cacém section of CP’s suburban line between Lisboa and Sintra was completed on December 6.