Argentina: The government has insisted that the Unión Ferroviaria trade union finds a foreign partner before taking on a 30-year operating concession for the 1000mm gauge Ferrocarril Belgrano (RG 9.97 p560). The government would grant 40m pesos a year for five years for infrastructure work, but the 10m pesos annual operating subsidy would end.

Mesopotamico concessionaire FMGU is working with Fepasa and Ferrovia Sul-Atlântico of Brazil to cut the transit time for Buenos Aires - São Paulo Cargosur container trains from 10 to 7 days.

Australia: New South Wales Freight Corp is to build an intermodal terminal in Canberra by March 1999.

Mining company Pasminco Ltd is reported to have held discussions with Tasrail concessionaire Australian Transport Network over the future of its 142 km Emu Bay Railway.

Austria: ÖBB announced on February 27 that it will spend ASch8·7bn of state funds on safety improvements by 2001. Some of the money will be spent on replacing or eliminating level crossings.

Belgium: VVM in Gent has placed a DM13m contract with Adtranz and Mittenwalder Gerätebau to modernise 22 trams.

Chile: Empresa de Transporte Ferroviario SA, operator of the former Ferronor system (RG 4.97 p198), has won a 10-year contract to move potassium chloride and potassium sulphite in containers from Baquedano to Coya Sur. Two locomotives and 54 containers will be deployed initially on the 206 km haul.

China: Kowloon - Canton Railway Corp has commissioned Maunsell to examine plans for the 1·5 km Hung Hom - Tsim Sha Tsui and 11·5 km Ma On Shan - Tai Wai extensions by the end of June.

Europe: Croatian State Railways and Yugoslav Railways have begun a rolling stock exchange programme resulting from the break-up of the former Yugoslavia that will involve up to 400 vehicles.

Germany: The Federal Railway Authority has raised the maximum speed limit for Siemens RegioSprinter diesel railcars from 100 to 120 km/h.

Diesel railcars are to be procured to increase services on the 1000mm gauge Harz Railways and the 750mm gauge Rügensche Kleinbahn, whose infrastructure is also to be modernised.

Great Britain: Connex South Eastern has introduced an hourly road coach link between Ashford International and Calais Ville, using Eurotunnel’s Le Shuttle service. An adult day return of £14·50 is available from any CSE station.

India: On February 27 the Integral Coach Factory unveiled a prototype air-sprung bogie for Mumbai suburban EMUs, developed in conjunction with the Research Designs & Standards Organisation.

Adtranz is to install a Rs280m computer-based traffic management system for the Western Railway suburban routes around Mumbai. Communications links between train drivers and guards and a new control centre will allow provision of real-time passenger information at stations.

Mexico: Port of Galveston and International Trade & Transport Ltd have announced plans for reviving a train barge service between the USA and Mexican east coast ports.

Netherlands: To reduce conflicts at Gouda, NS has completed a 3 km single track and a new swing bridge allowing trains from the Alphen aan den Rijn branch to reach a dedicated platform at the station, at a cost of 43m guilders.

Poland: PKP has started revenue trials around Poznan with a prototype four-car Class ED73 EMU rebuilt by Adtranz Pafawag from an ED57 set with air-sprung bogies and disk brakes, allowing 120 km/h operation.

Slovakia: ZSR is planning to buy 14 narrow-gauge EMUs for its 35 km High Tatras mountain railway; the 1·5 kV DC sets will be designated Class 425.95.

Sweden: Regional passenger services in Halland and Småland, won back from BK Tåg by SJ, will be taken over by BSM for two years from August 1998.

Switzerland: Taking advantage of open access rules due to come into effect next year, Mittelthurgau Railway, South-Eastern Railway and Mittelland Regional Railways have submitted a bid to carry mail for the Swiss Post Office.

The transport ministry is seeking bids for an open access rolling motorway service from Freiburg im Breisgau to Novara. The plan hinges on completion of loading gauge enlargement for 4m high lorries on trains via the L