Australia: Westrail has been prosecuted by Worksafe Western Australia for failing to provide automatic train protection at Hines Hill crossing loop; two people died after a National Rail driver failed to stop at a red signal in January 1996.

Formal approval has been given for National Rail to compete with V/Line for freight moving within Victoria, and V/Line to operate interstate services. NRC is due to start trials with driver-only operation this month on the Albury - Melbourne and Adelaide - Port Augusta lines. A second driver will be carried if required during the trial phase.

China: CR has completed tracklaying on 135 km west from Kuerla on the South Xinjiang Railway (RG 8.96 p468); work should reach Kuqa by the end of the year, with opening throughout due for 2000.

Double-tracking of the Houma - Yueshan railway in Shanxi and Henan provinces was completed in January, with commissioning of the second track from Liyuan to Yuanqu.

Denmark: DSB is planning to spend DKr8m on construction of 80 large 1·5MW wind turbines alongside railway lines to supply electric traction power.

Estonia: The government is canvassing freight customers for interest in taking over EVR’s Haapsalu - Riisipere line as a private operator.

France: Jet Services has abandoned plans to introduce TGV freight services on the Marseille - Lyon - Paris - Lille route.

Dijon has approved a routing for the proposed TGV Rhin - Rh