JANUARY 16 saw another addition to the Railway Gazette family of publications, with the dispatch of our first issue of Rail Transit OnLine.

Providing a fortnightly news digest for the North American urban rail sector, the electronic newsletter was launched and developed by our US correspondent Julian Wolinsky. DVV Rail Media is now taking over responsibility for production and distribution of RTOL in a partnership with JW Associates, which we believe will both strengthen the publication and extend its reach.

Commuter rail, metro and light rail are being adopted in more North American cities as their municipal governments come to recognise the environmental, social and economic benefits of rail-based public transport. We believe RTOL has a key role to play in this process, helping to spread awareness and best practice in a market which lacks familiarity with the rail mode and keeping its readers up to date with progress on many different projects.

RTOL is now being published in a secure PDF format, which we are already using for electronic distribution of our UK newsletter Rail Business Intelligence. Although both titles are focused on their home markets, we believe that they can offer significant insights to our readers around the world - visit www.railwaygazette.com for further details, or contact us to request sample copies.

This growing recognition of the importance of urban rail is not restricted to North America, of course. Cities in Europe, Asia and elsewhere are investing heavily in rail, as we report in our City News pages each month. To reflect the growing significance of the urban sector, we are relaunching our established yearbook Metro Report as a quarterly magazine, and subscribers will receive the first issue of the new-look Metro Report International in April.

For those in search of facts, figures and contacts in the urban and mainline railway industries, the 2008 edition of our 'big red bible' Railway Directory is now available. Including more than 20 000 names and addresses, plus a comprehensive suite of full-colour railway and metro maps, Railway Directory 2008 has been fully updated, and is now in colour throughout.

As well as train operators, infrastructure managers and city railways, Railway Directory includes listings of regulatory and government authorities, national and international associations and a comprehensive buyers' guide to more than 2 000 companies in the supply and consultancy sectors. See the advertisement on the inside back cover or visit our website to order your copy, or to subscribe to the online version at www.railwaydirectory.net.

Subscribers to Railway Gazette International should receive the 2007 index with this issue. If you do not receive a copy, or would like to order one, please contact us.