Asia: On April 9 Pakistan and India agreed an extension to January 19 2010 of their 2004 agreement for the operation of Samjhota Express cross-border services between Lahore and Amritsa via Wagah.
Bosnia: During a visit to Sarajevo at the end of March, Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader signed an agreement for Bosnia's three railway companies to use HZ's IT applications and participate in a two-year technology transfer programme covering information and communication systems.
Croatia: The government has announced it is to sell HZ's hotel and catering, construction and project design, and security and cleaning businesses for a total price of 168m kuna.
Czech Republic: On March 29 CD inaugurated 160?km/h services on a 14?6?km section of Corridor 2 between Kras?kov and Z?breh na Morave. A consortium of SSZ, Subterra and Metrostav carried out a KC4?36bn upgrade, with the construction of tunnels and two cut-offs totalling 4?9?km to cut journey times by 6?min.
On March 21 infrastructure authority SZDC launched the KC2?8bn modernisation of a 11?8 km section of Corridor 4 to raise speeds from 100 to 160?km/h between Doub? u T?bora and T?bor. A consortium of OHL ZS, Subterra and Viamont DSP will undertake double-tracking and overhaul of three stations by July 2009.
Europe: Railion Deutschland, RZD and DFDS have introduced a weekly train ferry service between Sassnitz and Baltiysk in Kaliningrad, simplifying connections between Germany and Russia. The ferry Vilnius is equipped with 1 520?mm gauge tracks and has linked Germany with Klaipeda in Lithuania twice weekly since July.
Ireland: Prime Minister Bertie Ahern officially opened Adamstown station on April 16. Built by Laing O'Rourke for Chartridge Developments Ltd, the west Dublin commuter station is the first to be provided under legislation which requires Strategic Development Zones to be provided with infrastructure in tandem with the construction of housing.
Myanmar: On April 19 Lt-Gen Myint Swe of the Ministry of Defence sprinkled scented water on MR's first domestically-produced loco to formally launch the 96 km/h machine. The design of the 66 tonne 783 kW Class DF 1200 diesel is derived from a DD51 Bo-2-Bo imported from Japan in 2005 and converted into two locos. A further six locos and 36 coaches are to be built by MR for Yangon - Mandalay trains.
Poland: PKP LHS has announced plans for a 150m zloty upgrade of the 1 520?mm gauge line from Ukraine to Katowice. 10 main line locomotives are to be purchased, in addition to six shunters which are on order from Transmash Holding.
Russia: On March 21 RZD and SNCF signed a memorandum of understanding in Delhi, covering co-operation to exchange their experience of railway reform, mass transit services, high speed operation and introduction of new technologies. The companies may co-operate to bid for work from third parties.
Spain: On March 24 ADIF brought into service 2.7 km of 1 668 mm gauge infrastructure at El Prat de Llobregat, including a station which will also be served by high speed services and the Barcelona metro. Putting the railway underground has freed 30 000?m? for redevelopment.
Turkey: TCDD has hired Italian infrastructure manager RFI's ETR500-derived measurement train for testing of the Ankara - Eskisehir 250 km/h line due to begin on April 23 (RG 2.07 p72).
UK: This summer Hines is to begin work on a £360m redevelopment of Cannon Street station in the City of London. The project to replace a 1960s building with a new mixed-use development designed by Foggo Associates will be completed in 2010.
USA: On March 30 Union Pacific announced a $300m modernisation of its Port of Los Angeles intermodal container transfer facility to double capacity while lowering the environmental impact. Stacking will be made more efficient, the 10 diesel cranes will be replaced with 39 electric gantry cranes, 71 of 73 diesel vehicles will be eliminated, and gen-set shunting locos (RG 3.06 p111) introduced.
On April 13 South Florida RTA opened the $78m New River Bridge between Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport stations. Built over 4 years, the 16?8?m clearance bridge allows an increase in train frequencies on the route, which previously crossed a bascule bridge where shipping had priority.
Trains returned to the Staten Island Railroad on April 2, following an agreement between train operators CSX, Norfolk Southern and Conrail, and the New York Economic Development Corp and Panynj which have spent $75m since 2004 reviving the 13?km line which closed in 1991.