Algeria: On June 4 national railway infrastructure company Anesrif signed a €16m contract appointing Italferr to provide technical advice for the development of new lines over the next five years, along with staff training and management consultancy services. Pöyry has a €2·4m contract to design a 100 km line between El Bayadh region and the existing line at Méchérin.

Brazil: BR Distribudora has begun supplying CVRD with B20 diesel containing a 20% biodiesel admixture. The fuel will power locomotives on the Carajás and Vitória - Minas lines, and CVRD expects to meet 66% of its loco fuel needs with biodiesel by the end of the year.

Canada: On June 8 the federal and Ontario governments and GO Transit announced the start of construction of a third track between Mississauga and Oakville along with station upgrades costing a total of C$88m as part of the C$1bn GO TRIP expansion programme. Work began in April for completion in June 2009.

Canadian Pacific has begun seeking regulatory approval for the construction of 26 km of line in Alberta to serve the growing oil sands industries on the North Saskatchewan River northeast of Edmonton.

Czech Republic: In May CD sold a 49% stake in its station, train and lineside advertising business Railreklam to advertising firm Tardus for KC15·1m.

Denmark: DSB is introducing a special summer timetable valid from July 1 to August 26, hoping to avoid last year's problems with late running during the hottest summer weather.

Europe: On June 18 an agreement to establish Eurasia Logistics as a joint venture to improve freight services between Berlin, Warszawa, Minsk, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod was signed by partners RZD (40·1%), DB (34·9%), PKP (15%) and Belarusian Railway (10%).

The Czech and Polish railways are analysing the technical requirements for operating CD's Pendolino trainsets in Poland, with a view to establishing a daily Praha - Warszawa return service competing with low-cost airlines on the 780 km route.

On June 10 SNCF and SBB began running freight trains through from Mulhouse to Buchs without requiring a change of locomotive and crew at the border. There are currently 41 freight trains a week on the route.

On June 10 SBB signed an agreement to acquire a third TGV trainset through the Lyria joint venture with SNCF in which the Swiss railway holds a 26% stake and the French operator a 74% share. The €27m POS unit will be used on cross-border services via TGV Est.

France: A 5 000 m² headquarters building for the European Railway Agency is due to be brought into use in Valenciennes on January 1 2009. Cost of the project is €6·5m, with the national and regional governments each providing €1·5m and the city council providing the site.

Iran: Pakistan's Minister of Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad visited Tehran during May, when an agreement was reached to complete the 1 435 mm gauge Bam - Zahedan link by December 2008.

Macedonia: Last month Minister of Transport & Communication Mile Janakieski said that the restructuring of state railway MZ into infrastructure and operating companies is to be completed during July.

Nigeria: Aerial surveys have been completed for the 1 126 km Lagos to Kano standard gauge line and 195 km Minna - Abuja - Kaduna loop. Ground surveying is underway, and turnkey contractor Chinese Civil Engineering & Construction Co expects work on the line to take four years.

Pakistan: The government has authorised the acquisition of 584 acres of land required to rebuild to 1 676 mm gauge the 295 km mothballed 762 mm gauge railway between Bostan and Zhob, and construct a 150 km extension to Dera Ismail Khan. This would cut 400 km from the distance from Quetta to Peshawar by rail.

Poland: The arrival of a PCC Rail train on May 30 inaugurated Deepwater Container Terminal Gdansk's new rail terminal, which will be run by PCC Rail as neutral operator.

Serbia: On June 16 the first of four Z1 coaches which are being modernised by Gosa to provide wheelchair access re-entered service between Beograd and Subotica.

Spain: ADIF's Talgo BT test train has begun dynamic trials of Ertms Level 1 signalling between Albacete and La Encina on the 1 668 mm gauge network. Balise positioning and track-train data transfer are among the parameters being tested.

Acciona Rail Services has begun moving coal from Gijón to a power station at La Robla for Unión Fenosa (RG 2.07 p62). It is the first private company to haul freight on the national network using its own traction.

Work has been completed on a €17·2m double-tracking of the 7·35 km Sangonera - Librilla section of the Murcia - Águilas route. With a view to forming part of a high speed line between Murcia and Almería, level crossings have been eliminated and gauge-convertible sleepers used.

USA: RailAmerica shortline Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad has put into service two National Railway Equipment Co genset N-ViroMotives which were partly funded through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan.