As part of its programme to upgrade the 861 km heavy-haul Sishen - Saldanha iron-ore line, Spoornet was due to run a 342-wagon test train on August 27, to confirm the feasibility of increasing its normal train length from 216 to 342 wagons. The train was to be marshaled as three coupled sets each formed of two Class 9E 50 kV electric and two Class 34 diesel locos heading 114 ore wagons, with all 12 locos under the control of one driver.
At the end of July the government of Argentina transferred operations on the Belgrano Cargas network (RG 7.06 p376) to emergency operating company SOE for an initial period of 180 days, during which time it will receive 22·5m pesos a month in operating subsidy. Shima, Roggio and Emepa hold 80·02% of SOE, with two rail unions and one lorry-drivers’ union each holding a 6·6% stake.
Prorail announced on August 15 that the completion of quadrupling between Utrecht and Amsterdam due for December would be postponed by up to four months because of delays in the safety approval process. NS Reizigers is preparing a temporary timetable with reduced stopping services from Rotterdam to Amsterdam via Breukelen and Utrecht to Amsterdam Zuid. Opening of the new station at Utrecht Zuilen will be deferred.