Sir - An error has crept into the entry for Israel in the 2003 World Speed Survey (RG10.03 p661). Table III should refer to Tel Aviv's newer University station, not Merkaz.

The distance to University is 81·7 km, not the 84·4 km shown, which is the distance to Merkaz. This means that the speed is wrongly given as 136·9 km/h when it should be 132·5 km/h, as in 2001.

The 2001 survey was correct. The only change since then has been an increase from six to 12 inter-city runs (five southbound and seven northbound) by Bombardier IC3 DMUs with up to 15 coaches per train. My description of Israel Railways as a 'quiet achiever' may therefore still be merited, although it has not in fact yet risen from its previous seventh place in the 'runners-up' Table III.

To err is human, and I would appreciate news of any other errors that may be discovered by discerning readers.

Dr Colin Taylor