n Turkish Transport Minister Necdet Menzir has announced proposals to restructure and privatise TCDD. The government is to initiate a review of railway operations and start modernisation of TCDD workshops ready for their sale to the private sector.

n September 30 is the closing date for bids to supply nine 7-car tilting inter-city trainsets to Polish State Railways, with an option for seven more (RG 1.97 p8). Tenders were invited on July 7, and PKP Passenger Director Grzegorz Uklejewski hopes to start negotiations with a preferred bidder this month. Destined to operate between Gdynia, Gdansk, Warszawa, Krakow and Katowice, the trains must be able to run at 320 km/h on new alignments and 240 km/h on existing tracks.

n Tracklaying on the private-sector section of the Stockholm airport rail link began last month. Arlanda Link Consortium partner John Mowlem & Co has started laying the 20 km double-track loop through the underground airport station from the southern junction with Banverket’s Stockholm - Uppsala main line at Rosersberg. Up to 700m a day will be laid until December 1998.

n Iranian President Rafsanjani has formally inaugurated a 280 km new line between Bud and Meybud in central Iran, built at a cost of 235m rials. Shortening the Tehran - Yazd - Bafgh route by 100 km to 635 km, the cut-off is aligned for passenger trains to run at 160 km/h and freight trains at 120 km/h.

n Italian State Railways has started trials of two experimental bogies with independent wheels developed by Firema’s Caserta works. Fitted to Type Z inter-city coaches, they are being tested at up to 155 km/h on the old line between Firenze and Arezzo.

n The Association of American Railroads is to restructure its Transportation Technology Centre in Pueblo, Colorado, as an independent subsidiary company, TTC Inc, from January 1 1998. The 21·7 km high-speed test track at Pueblo has been upgraded ready for trials of American Flyer trains at up to 266 km/h.

n A legal challenge by the minority shareholders association Adacte seeking renegotiation of Eurotunnel’s debt restructuring proposals to boost the residual value for shareholders was rejected by the French court of appeal on September 16.

n Russia is to build a 57 km rail link to serve a new port at Olya, 45 km up the Volga river from the Caspian Sea. To be built by Tidewater Construction for opening in 2000, the port will handle traffic to and from the Iranian port of Bandar Anzali, bypassing the railway through Azerbaijan.

n Philippines Transport & Communications Secretary Arturo Enrile issued a formal go-ahead in August for the 102 km electrified rail link between Manila and Clark Air Base; construction is expected to start at the beginning of next year. On September 4 Enrile ruled out proposals that Northrail be built to 1067mm for compatibility with Philippine National Railways, insisting that standard gauge is needed for fast operation.

n German locomotive builder Krauss Maffei has won a contract from Patentes Talgo to develop a 200 km/h diesel power car for the next generation of Talgo articulated trainsets. It will have a 1500 kW MTU engine driving through a new Voith hydraulic transmission. Krauss Maffei is also to develop a convertible power bogie which can run through an automatic gauge change point with the rest of a Talgo trainset, avoiding the need to change locos.