Tenders have been called for design of a new Alaska Railroad station as part of a US$200m reconstruction of Anchorage airport. The elevated station will have a 100 m long covered platform and a three storey building with a waiting room accommodating up to 250 people. The station would be directly linked to the airport terminal through a tunnel.

ARR is investing in substantial improvements to its passenger operation as tourist traffic and the state’s population are increasing. It has bought four ex-SP bilevel coaches and five single-level dome cars from the failed Florida Fun Train for $3·6m. The first of 16 SD70 diesels of 4 000 hp from General Motors is due to be delivered in December.

Studies are also under way for ARR to launch a commuter rail service linking Wasilla, Palmer and Girdwood to Anchorage. This could carry around 1·2 million passengers a year at a single fare of $5. A feasibility study has been launched to look at costs, rolling stock, and feeder bus connections.

Netherlands Railways is decorating an inter-city trainset with modern art by Italian architect Alesandro Mendini. The internal refurbishment by RB Haarlem has been sponsored by the Groninger Museum in a bid to encourage museum visitors to travel by rail.

CAPTION: Alstom Train Services has refurbished the first of 24 Class 442 EMUs leased from Angel Train Contracts by South West Trains for the London - Weymouth route. The 18-month programme costing £3m includes new upholstery, flooring and carpets, extra seating in the buffet area and refurbished toilets Photo: B Morrison