Argentina: Buenos Aires suburban concessionaire Metropolitano is to invest 38m pesos in upgrading the Pereyra - La Plata and Avellaneda - Ezpeleta sections of the Roca network. As well as track renewal, the work will include renovation of nine level crossings.

Australia: Victrack is to call tenders for resleepering the 50 km Pura Pura - Maroona section of the Melbourne - Adelaide route. Work is expected to take place between November and February next year, at a cost of A$12m.

Canada: Canadian National has agreed in principle to sell the 157 km route between Sainte-Rosalie, Québec, and the US border to Emons Transportation Group, owners of the connecting St Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad to Portland, Maine.

Canadian Pacific has signed a letter of intent to transfer operation of the 151 km Sicamous - Kelowna route in British Columbia to OmniTrax.

China: Chinese Railways carried 634million tonnes of freight in the first five months of this year, down 5% on 1997. A total of 396million passengers were carried in the same period, up 2·1%.

Cuba: Cuban National Railways has signed a letter of intent to purchase rolling stock from SNCF of France. This may include three rakes of ex-TEE coaches as well as diesel railcars.

Europe: A Danish group has proposed a fixed link from Gedser to the German coast east of Rostock, combining a rail tunnel with a road bridge/tunnel.

Transfracht International and European Rail Shuttle have introduced a container shuttle service between Rotterdam and Mannheim in Germany. Operating five days a week, the train also calls at Mainz.

Germany: DB has begun construction of a 1·3 km double-track tunnel to increase line capacity between Mainz Hbf and Mainz Süd. To be built by 2001 at a cost of DM85m, it will permit improvements to local and inter-city services.

A 3 km section of line closed in 1985 between Grävenwiesbach and Brandoberndorf in the Taunus is to be rebuilt at a cost of DM14m so that services can restart in 2000.

Ghana: Tenders are to be called for a feasibility study of a rail link and yard to serve the privately-developed Tema Export Processing Zone. The EPZ forms part of the Gateway Trade & Investment Project to promote export-led growth, financed by a US$50·5m credit from the International Development Association.

Great Britain: Maintenance contractor Jarvis is to acquire a track renewal train from Fairmont Tamper of the USA at a cost of £6m for relaying work on the West Coast main line. To be funded by an operating lease, the machine will occupy only one track and will be able to replace sleepers at the rate of 10 to 15 a minute.

Railtrack has set up the Industry Capacity Database to suggest maximum contract and invitation to tender values for each supplier on the basis of past performance and annual turnover.

International: Uruguayan State Railways is looking to sign an agreement with Mesopot