Europe: Norton Rose lawyers in 23 European jurisdictions have advised Dresdner Bank on a €273m securitisation of lease rentals from two wagon fleets owned by AAE subsidiaries; Allen & Overy acted for the AAE group.

France: EIB has agreed to lend Marseille €150m towards the construction of its light rail network, expected to cost a total of €468m. The first 11·2 km section costing €387m is due to open next year.

South Africa: Electricity supply parastatal Eskom is to fund the new R1·8bn railway linking the Richards Bay heavy-haul coal line to Majuba power station, as its cost of capital stands at 12·5%, compared with Spoornet's 17% to 18%. Spoornet will work the line under a management contract. The power station currently relies on road transport, resulting in only 75% of generating capacity being achieved.

USA: FRA has awarded a $6·7m grant to Georgia's Department of Transportation for a study of a proposed high-speed passenger railway linking Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The study will look at the environmental impact of possible routes and the use of rail or maglev technologies.

The Freight Rail Capacity Expansion Act was introduced in the US senate on July 16. If passed, it will provide a 15% tax credit to businesses investing in new rail infrastructure, including track, yards, intermodal facilities or rolling stock.

Vietnam: South Korea has agreed a US$1·2m grant to fund a study into the feasibility of constructing a standard gauge double-track electric route between Hanoi and Vinh. DSVN has put forward a US$30bn plan to construct a 1435mm line between the capital and Ho Chi Minh City in 2010-15.

France is providing €40·3m towards the €51·4m cost of modernising signalling on the existing Hanoi - Vinh line.