Canada: Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has opened a new Centre for Rail Training & Technology in Calgary as part of a training alliance with Canadian Pacific Railway worth C$1m over five years.

Europe: The European Commission is expected to announce in March the results of its investigation into the proposed merger of aluminium suppliers Alcan, Alusuisse and Pechiney .

France: Track maintenance contractor and equipment supplier Socofer is to set up a second plant at Joué-lès-Tours to augment its existing facilities at Menneton near Tours.

Germany: On November 26 Adtranz announced the formation of a Locomotive Pool to lease motive power to independent and open access freight operators in Germany and western Europe; the Pool will draw resources from the company’s Locomotives and Customer Support product units, which have been hiring out refurbished locos for the past three years.

Great Britain: Environmental, health and safety consultancy ERM has acquired the risk management and reliability specialist IRMS, which operates in Great Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore. IRMS will be merged into ERM’s risk management arm Four Elements.

Communications specialist Racal Translink has signed an agreement with CCTV security group Sensormatic Electronics Corp to offer a combined portfolio of passenger information and CCTV solutions for the rail market.

Switzerland: Alusuisse Road & Rail AG announced on November 17 that it had reached agreement to take over the Altenrhein-based Technical Division of Schindler Technik AG with effect from January 1 2000. Providing specialist engineering consultancy in rolling stock design, STAG was the last remnant of the former Schindler rail operations after the Pratteln plant was sold to Adtranz in 1998.

USA: The $439m merger of Westinghouse Air Brake Co and MotivePower Industries was formally completed on November 19 after both companies’ shareholders had approved the revised terms: MPI shareholders will receive 0·66 WABCO shares for each MPI share. Based in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, the merged company will be known as Wabtec Corp.

Crane and rail maintenance equipment supplier Whiting Corp broke ground on November 22 for a new factory and headquarters building at Monee, Illinois, which will replace its plant at Harvey from October 2000.

Fare collection specialist Cubic Corp has formed a new subsidiary known as Cubic Microchip Development Inc to promote smart card technology in the metro market.