Australia: Evans Deakins Industries has agreed to purchase the Powerlines, Telecommunications & Railways division of ABB for A$25m. PTR has maintenance contracts for rail installations in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, with a turnover of A$110m a year.

British-based Rail Training International and French simulator manufacturer Corys jointly took over the former Victorian Public Transport Training Facility in Melbourne last month. Under the deal, Corys is to install three new simulators, and RTI will develop its Australian operations currently managed from Sydney.

Open access operator Specialised Container Transport has abandoned plans to seek an equity partner, following unsatisfactory discussions with Lang Corp and Australia Southern Railroad.

Chicago Freight Car Leasing subsidiary CFCL Australia is purchasing 50 skeletal container wagons with a deck height of 1020mm. Worth A$5m, they have a tare weight of 19·5 tonnes and can carry an 80 tonne payload at up to 115 km/h. CFCLA says this is the first time that a specialised wagon lease fleet has been created in Australia. The company has also sold a batch of reconditioned ballast hoppers to Australian Track Corp Ltd.

Canada: Bidders are being sought for the troubled Cape Breton rail supplier Sydney Steel Co, which is currently being run by receivers Ernst & Young following the collapse of an agreed sale to Rail Associates of Michigan in January. The Nova Scotia government threatened to shut the plant if a deal could not be agreed by December 31 1999, but is now keen to find a buyer.

Czech Republic: Czech Railways and Swiss wagon leasing group Ahaus-Alstätter Eisenbahn Holding AG are planning to set up a joint venture company, based in northern Bohemia, to overhaul and upgrade around 1000 CD wagons for international operations.

France: Paris Transport Authority RATP announced on May 5 that it is planning a joint venture to compete for operating contracts in the international market. RATP International Investissements would be owned in equal shares by RATP International, Bouygues Construction and Electricité de France subsidiary Sodetrel.

Great Britain: Civil engineering and services group BICC plc officially became Balfour Beatty plc on May 10 (RG 4.00 p252). Addressing the company’s annual general meeting the previous day,Chairman Lord Weir said the name change reflected the group’s concentration on its four principal businesses: buildings, civil & specialist engineering, rail engineering and investment.

From May 17 British rolling stock leasing company Angel Train Contracts has been rebranded as Angel Trains. The Rosco is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland.

On April 19 AEA Technology Rail announced that it had acquired Fleet Software Ltd at a cost of £1·5m. With 22 staff in Barnsley and Banbury, Fleet provides software analysis tools to operators.

Infrastructure maintenance contractor Amey Rail has acquired information management systems suppliers Datel Rail Systems, Datel Technology and Datel Security & Communications, which will in future trade under the name Amey Datel.

Netherlands: Netherlands Railways has sold its 50% stake in its commercial telecommunications joint venture Telfort to its existing partner British Telecom for 4·2m guilders; the deal took effect on April 13.

Spain: On April 10 Patentes Talgo broke ground for the construction of a new vehicle assembly and repair shop in the Madrid suburb of Las Rozas at a cost of Pts7·7bn. Occupying a 17·5 ha site, the plant is intended to augment capacity at Vitoria in supplying new rolling stock to Renfe. Patentes Talgo is planning to form a joint venture with Adtranz to maintain Talgo XXI and high-speed trainsets which they may supply to Renfe.

Switzerland: Von Roll has sold off its railway maintenance businesses, which will be incorporated into a newly established company called TrackNet Holding AG based in Fribourg.

USA: British rail consultancy Interfleet Technology is to establish a US office in the Northeast Corridor. The former Development Manager at Angel Trains, Chris Adams, has joined Interfleet as Regional Manager for North America.

CAPTION: In April British train operator Thames Trains opened a ’Learning Centre’ at its Reading headquarters, giving staff the opportunity to develop various skills in a continuous learning programme