Germany: 15 local authorities signed an agreement on July 28 to provide €7·8m towards extending Stuttgart S-Bahn Line S1 from Plochingen to Kirchheim. The Land will provide €16·4m and the city €12·3m; opening is planned for December 2009.

Japan: The government announced the sale of 600000 shares in JR Central (RG 8.05 p466) at a 2·1% discount on the July 25 closing price, valuing the offer at US$4·7bn.

Namibia: TransNamib is to obtain a 25-year loan worth N$204m from the Export-Import Bank of China to buy 16 diesel locos and 60 tank wagons, overhaul existing wagons, and refurbish its 47 GE locos at a rate of four per year. TransNamib also plans to acquire one long-distance and two short-haul trainsets, a ’luxury airport express’ train, an ultrasonic inspection car and ticket vending machines.

Spain: Under the terms of an agreement signed with the Ministry of Development and the Treasury, a budget of €602·1m haa been set for ADIF until December 31 2005. Of the total, €436·6m is to be spent on maintaining the national network and €165·5m on operations.

United Kingdom: On August 18 the Scottish Executive confirmed £27·6m of funding towards reinstatement of the 21 km Stirling - Alloa - Kincardine route. This will carry passenger services to Alloa and freight trains to Longannet power station, freeing capacity elsewhere. First Engineering and Edmund Nuttall are to begin work next month supervised by Jacobs Babtie, with opening planned for mid-2007.

USA: The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded Los Angeles commuter operator MetroLink a $250000 grant to evaluate whether it is possible to eliminate 49 level crossings on its 42 km Antelope Valley and 52 km Ventura County lines.