Australia: Network Design & Construction is to lay an A$16m optic fibre cable network for the Australian Railroad Group. Some of the capacity will be used for railway data, but the rest will be used by a telecoms carrier. Cost sharing will make the optic fibre system cheaper than a basic radio network.

NSW Transport Minister Carl Scully has announced that seven two-car DMUs will be bought for Hunter Valley services, costing an expected A$50m. Tenders will be called within six months, for running to start in 2005.

Freight Australia has ordered a prototype V class 4000 hp diesel loco from EDI Rail, to be fitted with a General Motors 710 series engine. FA’s G class locos are to be rebuilt with 645F3B engines rated at 3800hp, and their old 3300hp engines transferred in turn to uprate a batch of 2000hp X class locos.

Canada: VIA Rail has ordered 21 diesel-electric P42 passenger locomotives and three years of technical support from General Electric. They are to replace LRC-2 and LRC-3 locos.

China: Kowloon-Canton Railway has awarded contracts for its East Rail expansion programme. Sino-Spanish joint venture Necso-China State is to build the HK$3·3bn Ma On Shan Rail light metro feeder line, which has nine stations. Maeda Corp will build the new interchange station at Tai Wai, and Gammon Construction will build Tai Wai depot. The IKK consortium will supply escalators and rolling stock. As part of the East Rail extension to Tsim Sha Tsui, Hung Hom station will be modified by Chun Wo Construction & Engineering. Completion is scheduled for 2004.

Czech Republic: CD has awarded ZS Brno a KC4·1bn contract to upgrade the Hranice na Morave - Studenka section of Corridor 2. The Sdruzeni Koridor Ostrava-Petrovice consortium has won the Kc2bn Ostrava - Petrovice u Karvine contract.

Germany: Deutz AG is to supply Adtranz with 32 513-series diesel engines for Israeli Flexliner trains, with an option for 48 more.

Alusuisse has signed a contract with Thyssen to supply designs and components for Transrapid maglev bodies and interiors. The first cars will be shipped in 2002 to China for use on the maglev line being built in Shanghai.

Hungary: To pay off part of Russia’s state debt to Hungary, Russian firm Metrovagonmas is to produce 40 railcars worth US$100m for MAV by the end of 2002. MAV will pay the Hungarian government 60% of the price of the 132-seat suburban vehicles.

Libya: China’s Ministry of Railways and China Civil Engineering Construction Corp have signed a US$477m contract to construct a 190 km line in western Libya (RG 1.01 p20). A memorandum of understanding to construct a second line jointly with Libya was also agreed.

Romania: A 140m euros contract for Infrastructure works on the Bucuresti - Ploiesti and Ploiesti - Cimpina lines has been won by a consortium of CCCF, Swietelski and Wiebe. A consortium of Spie Enertrans and ISAF will carry out work on the Bucuresti - Cimpina section under a 25m euros contract.

South Africa: Finnish manufacturer Desec is to supply Zomba Construction with a TL50 turnout replacing machine, accessories and training. Zomba has a five-year US$3·8m contract with Spoornet for the installation of 450 turnouts.

Spain: The Ministry of Development has called tenders for the construction of two double-track cut-offs between Santiago de Compostela and Ordes on the Santiago - A Coruña route, which will be designed for 220 km/h operation. Total route length is 13·3 km and a budget of Pts15bn has been set for the work.

Sweden: Siemens has ordered 12m euros of brake equipment from SAB Wabco for ÖBB Taurus locomotives. A further 6m euros of brake equipment has been ordered by two consortia building 181 4-car commuter trains for DB.

Switzerland: SBB is to order 150 two- axle insulated vans for domestic food traffic.

Tanzania: China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is to supply four diesel locomotives to the Tanzania - Zambia Railway Authority.

USA: Union Switch & Signal has been awarded a 24-month contract to deliver 92 microcab automatic train control cab signal sets, training, spare parts and test equipment to the Long Island Rail Road.