Germany: Extending an existing partnership agreement, Lineas Systeme AG has acquired the traffic management and planning systems unit of Adtranz Signal. It will become part of Lineas Verkehrstechnik GmbH, responsible for developing the Optivia product platform for industrial railways that combines vehicle tracking, interlocking and traffic management systems.

Great Britain: Rolling stock suspensions specialist Metalastik Ltd of Leicester has become part of the Swedish company Trelleborg AB, following the sale of BTR Automotive Antivibration System by Invensys plc on March 1. Metalastik has joined forces with Trelleborg’s Novibra division to form Trelleborg Industrial AVS.

PB Kennedy & Donkin has been accredited as a Conformance Certification Body by Railtrack’s Safety & Standards Directorate. The consultancy can now certify compliance with mandatory technical requirements for new or modified rolling stock.

Kvaerner Cementation Foundations has been granted a Core Contractors Safety Case certificate by Railtrack, valid for three years. The piling and ground engineering company is currently at work on a £1·65m embankment stabilisation scheme at Lenham on the Maidstone East - Ashford route.

Netherlands: NS has sold its ultrasonic rail inspection unit to Eurailscout, a joint venture owned by Dutch civil engineering group Strukton and Knape Gleissanierung of Germany. NS Ultrasoonbedrijf has contracts for work in Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium as well as its home market.

Romania: Xedox Exim was sole bidder for a 76·7% stake in Astra Vagoane Arad when it was auctioned by the State Ownership Fund for the second time (RG 4.00 p252) in March. Having bid 9·37bn lei, trolleybus manufacturer Xedox was expected to sign a contract for the purchase within 10 days.

The government has appointed a consortium led by European Privatisation & Investment Corp of Austria to advise on the privatisation of Electroputere. Fieldstone Private Capital Group Ltd of Great Britain is leading a consortium advising on the sale of rolling stock builder Romvag Caracal.

Spain: Alstom Transporte is to invest Pts2bn over the next five years in a new research and development facility located in Madrid, which currently has a core staff of 30. Initial projects include whole-life maintenance strategies for high speed, inter-city and metro rolling stock.

USA: Through its Talgo America subsidiary, Patentes Talgo of Spain has acquired Transportation & Transit Associates, which operates three plants in New York state and California undertaking passenger coach assembly and rebuilding as well as component manufacture. TTA reported revenue of 23m euros in 1999, up 75% on the previous year.

Directors and senior managers of Wabtec Corp have purchased over 635000 shares on the open market for US$9·4m, and now hold 25% of the company. Chairman & CEO William Kassling says the purchases demonstrate confidence in the company, as well as aligning the interests of management and shareholders.