Ottawa’s municipal government has shortlisted three consortia to build the 31 km north-south light rail line from Rideau Centre to Barrhaven at an estimated cost of C$675m. They are SNC Lavalin with Bombardier, Kiewit-Ellisdon with Kinki Sharyo and PCL Constructors Canada and Dufferin Construction with Siemens. A bidder is to be selected in 2006 so that work can start in mid-year.

A joint venture of Alpina, Semaly, Scetauroute, Ci-Tra and Teodoro Aldo Battaglia has been selected to undertake studies for a €193m light rail or light metro network in Parma. The Italian city is planning two underground routes, one linking the main station with the airport and the other running north-south for 12 km through the city centre with 26 stations.

The Chinese government has approved plans for the first phase of the proposed 82·5 km metro network in Shenyang. Work on Lines 1 and 2 totalling 40·9 km is expected to start in November for completion by 2012 at a total cost of 17·2bn yuan. The municipal government will raise 50% and the rest will come in loans from the China Development Bank.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority has completed preliminary design for the 3·4 km Downtown Extension which will serve the development area around Marina Bay. Due to be completed in 2012, the DTE will link the Circle Line at Millenia with the North East Line at Chinatown.

CA Metro Los Teques has let a €204m contract to the Frameca consortium for equipping its 9·8 km metro feeder line in Caracas. Linking Los Teques to the south end of Line 2 at Los Adjuntas, the line is due to open in October 2006 (MR 05 p29). Alstom is to supply rolling stock, signalling and power supply systems, while Siemens will provide the automation equipment.