Australia: The Victoria state budget has allocated A$14m over two years to extend suburban electrification from St Albans to Sydenham and build a new station.

The NSW budget has allocated A$1bn in extra funding for the railways over the next four years. There is A$320m for track maintenance, A$147m for signalling and A$122m for stock maintenance. A$3m will be spent on a turnback at Bondi Junction following the dropping of the Bondi Beach extension project once again.

Brazil: Development bank BNDES is to lend up to 70% of the US$350m required to restore local passenger service on 11 routes, including those serving the cities of Natal, Fortaleza and João Pessoa. Private concessionaires would provide the remainder of the funding.

France: Holding company SNCF Participations has reported a profit of Fr15m on turnover of Fr30·7bn for 2000, with Fr7·8bn of turnover contributed by the Keolis passenger business created through the merger of VIA GTI and Cariane. Parcels business Sernam made a loss of Fr700m on turnover of Fr3·7bn.

Hungary: MAV is to negotiate settlement of the HF21bn debts it is owed by Yugoslav Railways.

Netherlands: 40m guilders has been allocated for the modernisation of NedTrain’s Maastricht workshops.