Australia: Queensland Rail has opened a $3·9m container terminal at Cloncurry, near Mt Isa. The $200m upgrade of the Townsville - Mt Isa route is scheduled for completion later this year.

Westrail has invited tenders for upgrading of the signalling on its freight network. Signalling, maintenance and workshop facilities for the Perth suburban system are the subject of a separate tender.

Canada: CN is to start work this year on a C$18m 10-track intermodal terminal in Edmonton, due to open in September 1999 with a capacity of 150000TEU/year.

CPR has offered for sale its 109 km Nanaimo - Port Alberni route on Vancouver Island. There are no plans to spin off the Victoria - Nanaimo and Parksville - Courtenay routes at present.

China: China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co has introduced a Shanghai - Chengdu service for intermodal traffic from Japan. It covers the 600 km in 85h.

The Railway Development Office of the Hong Kong government has appointed Maunsell and MVA to conduct its Second Railway Development Study. The 18-month study will determine strategy for the next 20 years, with recommendations on urgent schemes due after eight months.

Croatia: Preparatory work has begun on renovation of HZ’s war-damaged Vinkovci - Sid route, including catenary repairs.

Czech Republic: Upgrading for 160 km/h operation has begun on the 18·5 km Brno - Vranovice route, scheduled for completion by June 2000. The EU’s Phare programme is providing KC1·29bn of the KC1·42bn total cost.

Europe: Adtranz has modified its 12X experimental locomotive to test IGBT converters and its latest Mitrac control technology. The unit can already accept power at 25 kV 50Hz and the standard German 15 kV 16 2??3 Hz supply. It is to be further modified to take DC power for possible trials in France and Italy.

Germany: DB has started a DM126m programme to upgrade and resignal the 83 km Wismar - Rostock - Tessin line so that journey times can be cut by 30min in 2000. New stations are planned at Thierfelder Straße and Tessin West.

DB Cargo opened a new headquarters building in Mainz on May 8. DB Chairman Dr Johannes Ludewig and Transport Minister Matthias Wissman were present at the event.

Opening of the DM16·7m Eichenberger curve allowing trains to run between G