Angola: Work is expected to begin next month on the rehabilitation of the 23 km Bungo - Viana section of the Luanda railway.

Argentina: Buenos Aires suburban operator Metropolitano was due to begin electric operation over the 6·6 km between Temperley and Claypole last month. Work to install 25 kV 50Hz AC overhead equipment and raise platform heights at three stations has cost US$16m.

Czech Republic: As part-repayment for Russian debts to the Czech Republic, Metrovagonmash has built a prototype two-car DMU for use on Czech regional lines. It is based on MÁV’s Class 63-41.

Denmark: DSB has launched a new service pattern on the Ødense - Svendborg line, following completion of upgrading work by Banestyrelsen which required a five-week blockade.

Europe: The European Commission has commissioned London-based Steer Davies Gleave, the Institute of Transport Studies and Frankfurt-based consultancy RMS to assess by February the impacts of various scenarios for liberalising the EU rail passenger market.

France: Public consultation has begun for the proposed €800m express link from Paris Est to Charles-de-Gaulle airport. The 25 km line could open in 2012, halving journey time to 15 min.

Germany: The federal government has appointed Morgan Stanley to examine options for privatising DB.

Following a review of the tendering, Connex subsidiary Nord-Ostsee-Bahn has been confirmed as winner of the 10-year franchise to run the 237 km route between Hamburg and Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein from December 2005.

Italy: The European Commission has adopted a decision requiring FS to allow new cross-border passenger services into Italy, as the refusal of the only possible partner to enter into an international arrangement amounts to an abuse of competition rules. Since 1995 FS has prevented Georg Verkehrsorganisation operating from Germany to Milano, by refusing to establish an international partnership and provide track access and traction.

Netherlands: A three-month programme is underway to renovate the 1·5 km Moerdijk bridge. Around 2·2 km of track and 35 km of cabling will be replaced at a cost of €18m.

Philippines: PNR has taken delivery of 10 air-conditioned coaches which arrived from Japan on August 14. Augumenting a fleet of 21 coaches delivered in 2001, they will be used on suburban services between Manila and Calamba. PNR is negotiating a US$100m loan from the Korean Export-Import Bank to fund the rehabilitation of this route and the purchase of 21 new air-conditioned DMUs.

Romania: The state-owned stakes in around three-quarters of the companies created from CFR ready for privatisation were sold on the Bucuresti stock exchange on September 15.

South Africa: Four companies have been awarded contracts totalling R91m to rehabilitate the disused 282 km Umtata - Amabele line by mid-2004.

Spain: The Ministry of the Environment has been requested to approve the route of a 44·6 km high speed line between Linares-Baeza and Jaén. Following existing alignments at each end, it is expected to cost €180·3m.

Under a €15·8m programme, FEVE is to lengthen each of its 16 Class 3800 two-car EMUs deployed in Asturias with an intermediate trailer car. Two trailers will be acquired to complete the lengthening of the 21-strong Class 3500 fleet from two to three cars.

Sweden: Green Cargo is to dissolve its road transport operations, and expand its partnerships with external road transport companies through its Hallsberg full-load centre.

United Kingdom: Eurotunnel expects to begin work in January on Folkestone Intermodal Terminal, a three-track facility to handle UIC gauge wagons on unused space at its Cheriton terminal from late 2004.

USA: On August 27 Union Pacific officially opened its $181m Global III intermodal terminal at Rochelle, Illinois, able to handle 720000 containers annually.