China: Siemens, Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Plant and the Zhuzhou Research Institute of Electric Locomotives are to invest 300m yuan in a joint venture, Zhuzhou Siemens Traction Equipment Co, to build up to 60 AC locos a year. The Austrian government is to provide start-up funding

Europe: After GEC Alsthom’s flotation on the London, New York and Paris stock markets, scheduled for the last week of this month, it will be known as Alstom; 1997-98 results showed a profit of Ecu302m on a turnover of Ecu11·1bn.

Great Britain: GE Capital Railcar Services has bought International Wagon Services Ltd, which through its Tiphook Rail subsidiary owns and operates over 2100 wagons throughout Europe. GE plans to combine the business with its previous acquisition Cargowaggon GmbH. (RG 10.97 p651)

Under a programme launched by the Department of Trade & Industry, the Materials Engineering Research Laboratory is investigating the use of composites as friction materials in the transport industry. Research will focus on the use of polymer, metal and ceramic matrix materials in brake and clutch applications. Manufacturers and research bodies are invited to contact Nathan Crilly at MERL (tel: +44 1992 500120, fax +44 1992 586439, e-mail:

India: Greysham & Co and RFPC Holding Corp, a subsidiary of Westinghouse Air Brake, have formed a joint venture, Greysham Railway Friction Products Pvt Ltd to produce low-friction composite brake shoes next year. Wabco owns a 65% stake in the company.

Poland: Skamo, a state-owned railway construction and maintenance equipment manufacturer, is seeking a strategic partner for the formation of a joint venture.

Switzerland: Adtranz Switzerland is to concentrate its activities in Pratteln, with 735 employees from the Oerlikon and Genève sites due to move by the end of 1999. Adtranz has signed an agreement to purchase the engineering, sales, project management and service activities of SLM at Winterthur, whose rack vehicle production has been acquired by Stadler.

USA: Koppers Industries Inc has acquired Industrial Track Supply Co, which provides specialist trackwork hardware and related services. The company has been renamed Koppers Industrial Track Supply.

ABC Rail Products Corp has acquired Railway Systems Support Inc of Springtown, Pennsylvania, which specialises in the integration of control systems for railways and metros.

Progress Rail Services Corp has signed a letter of intent to acquire substantially all the assets and operations of Amarillo Railcar Services from Quixx Corp.