Argentina: COMSAT Mobile Communications of the USA has been awarded a contract worth up to US$500000 a year by Ferrocarril Belgrano Cargas (RG 2.99 p66), to provide mobile satellite communications for train dispatching and control. By April this year 89 locomotives will be equipped to receive movement orders from FBC’s Salta control centre, which will monitor train speed and location.

Australia: In association with Sinclair Knight Merz, MVA of Great Britain has been commissioned by Speedrail Group to provide advice on traffic and revenue forecasting for the proposed Sydney - Canberra high-speed line. Forecasts of Speedrail patronage will be classified by type of traveller in order to target service design and marketing to the appropriate customers.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Last month the Public Railway Corp BHZJK signed a contract with Desec Oy of Finland for supply of a TL50 tracklaying machine able to handle 32 m long turnouts, with a sleeper assembly beam and 10 tracklaying trollies. To be funded by the Finnish ministry of foreign affairs, the equipment is to be delivered in mid-1999.

Canada: Toronto Transit Commission has called tenders for the supply of a fixed-block lineside signalling system for the Sheppard metro route. The contract also includes modifications to equipment on the Yonge Street line which will be connected to the new route.

China: Maunsell of Great Britain has been awarded an HK$6·8m contract to act as Independent Environmental Checker on Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp’s West Rail project. The contract includes development of an electronic environmental management system to monitor 16 construction sites.

The Ministry of Railways has awarded Alcatel of France a contract to supply an SDH optical backbone system for the Wuhan - Guangzhou route as part of the Beijing - Guangzhou electrification project. Scheduled for completion this year, the backbone should raise communications capacity by around 30 times.

Germany: ATG Autotransportlogistic GmbH has awarded Krupp Timtec Telematik GmbH a contract to supply an ATIS MT tracking system to monitor the position and loading status of its fleet of 5500 car-carrying wagons across Europe. Independent of existing railway data networks, the system will relay information by GSM to Krupp’s data-processing centre, which will report to ATG’s scheduling operation.

Ruhrkohle AG has received the first of 11 type G1206 Bo-Bo diesel-hydraulic locomotives, built at Vossloh’s former Siemens Schienenfahrzeugtechnik works in Kiel with Voith L5r4zU2 transmissions. Fitted with Indusi inductive train control equipment for operation on DB metals, the 1500 kW locos have a top speed of 80 km/h.

Great Britain: Railtrack has selected the GTRM-Balfour Beatty joint venture supported by WS Atkins Rail as preferred bidder for a £175m contract to renew the overhead wiring on its West Coast main line by 2002, plus the provision of additional power supply capacity worth £100m to allow 225 km/h running.

Racal Telecom has won a five-year contract to install, manage and maintain 130 customer help points offering train running information at all 69 Central Trains stations within the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive area.

Clayton Vehicle Heating Equipment Ltd is to design and supply saloon, vestibule and cab heating for 70 Class 175 and 40 Class 180 DMU cars being supplied to FirstGroup’s Great Western and North Western franchises by Alstom Transport. Deliveries are due to begin later this year.

South Korea: Alstom Transport has supplied a driver-training simulator to the Korean High-Speed Rail Construction Authority, developed in conjunction with Corys-Tess of Grenoble and Systra.

Latvia: Latvian Railway has called tenders for the supply of 56250m3 of ballast, 9000 tonnes of 60E1 (UIC60) rail in 25m lengths and 140400 concrete monobloc sleepers. The materials will be purchased for upgrading the East-West Corridor with the proceeds of a loan from the European Investment Bank.

Mexico: Ferrocarril Mexicano has ordered 50 diesel locomotives from GE Transportation Systems of the USA. Deliveries are due to begin in April.

Spain: A consortium of Abengoa, FCC and Isolux Wat has been awarded a Pts3bn contract to relocate underground a 4 km section of the electrified Renfe route through Jerez de la Frontera, which will include double tracking and resignalling. Expected to take two years, the work is being funded by the Ministry of Development, Andalucía regional government and the municipality of Jerez.

Sweden: SJ Cargo Group has ordered 120 wagons from Kockums for SKr130m. They will be used to transport paper rolls for Stora Enzo.

Adtranz Sweden has received orders for 11 Regina EMUs from two local authorities. Deliveries are scheduled for autumn and February 2001.

Under subcontract to John Mowlem Construction, Banverket is undertaking tracklaying on the 20 km Arlandabanan (RG 8.98 p531) using the Fastclip system from Pandrol of Great Britain.

Taiwan: Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall of the USA and TY Lin have been awarded a contract by Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems to provide design services for an extension to the Hsinjuang line. DMJM will undertake project management and oversee structural engineering.

USA: Metro-North Railroad has awarded Balfour Beatty Rail Engineering of Great Britain a £600000 contract to supply six turnouts for the loop under New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Port Authority Transit of Pittsburgh has called tenders for the supply of 28 LRVs and the overhaul of 55 existing vehicles. Estimated to be worth $125m, this contract forms part of the $500m Stage II project to rebuild the Library, Drake and Overbrook routes and modify the Stage I system by 2004.

A joint venture of STV Inc and Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded a $184m contract to provide tunnel engineering services for Long Island Rail Road’s East Side Access project, which would take LIRR trains from Queens under the East River into the lower level of Grand Central Terminal (RG 10.98 p633).

The Federal Railroad Administration has selected ENSCO Inc for a $3·6m contract to develop a track geometry recording system that will be mounted in a vehicle supplied by Plasser American Corp. Incorporating laser technology, the system will operate at speeds up to 176 km/h and is expected to be delivered by September 2000.

NJ Transit has awarded a $71m contract to AAI Corp for overhaul and refurbishment of 116 Comet II push-pull coaches at its Hunt Valley, Maryland, works. To be completed by November 2000, the deal includes an option for refurbishment of another 45 Comet IIB cars.

MTA New York City Transit has issued an $83m contract to Slattery Construction and Skanska USA for refurbishing Times Square subway station, parts of which date back to 1904. The two firms will rehabilitate structural elements and restore architectural finishes.