Argentina: Iecsa and Comsa have been awarded a 140·4m pesos contract to raise a 14·5 km section of the Buenos Aires - Mendoza main line between Diego de Alvear and Aarón Castellanos, currently submerged under the La Picasa lake (RG 12.05 p757). Work is due to take 36 months to complete and includes the construction of a 36m long bridge over the lake.

Australia:QR has placed a €97m order with Siemens for 20 Class 3800 electric locos, which will be delivered from München in 2008 for use on coal trains.

A joint venture of Thiess and United Group Infrastructure has won four South East Queensland Infrastructure Program contracts totalling €400m. To be completed by 2012, these cover doubling lines from Beerburrum to Caboolture and Landsborough, a third track between Corinda and Darra, and a Robina - Reedy Creek extension.

France:Alstom has signed a €50m contract with RFF for the supply of Smartlock 400 computerised interlockings.

Hungary:MÁV has ordered 10 four-car Talent dual-voltage 15/25 kV EMUs worth €45m from Bombardier. Electrical equipment is to be supplied by Elin EBG Traction.

Israel:ISR has confirmed an order with Siemens worth €125m for 86 push-pull coaches, to be delivered in 2007-09. Options cover a further 585 of the 160 km/h vehicles (RG2.06 p57).

Netherlands:Mitsui Rail Capital Europe has appointed NedTrain Consulting to fit 11 Vossloh G1206 and 12 EMD Class 66 locos with ECTS equipment for use on the Betuwe Route (p252). NedTrain Consulting is also developing an STM which will allow ECTS-fitted locos to operate on lines equipped with the ATB train control system.

Russia:On April 14 Fosagro Holding signed a lease agreement with IMB Leasing covering 150 hopper wagons. A further 400 are sought by the end of the year, which will bring its leasing contract to US$25m.

Following the award of four rolling stock leasing contracts worth a total of 12bn roubles, Magistral Finance is to lease EMUs to RZD, FK United Invest Partners will provide open wagons, and Basic Leasing will supply DMU cars.

Spain:ADIF has awarded Electrén, Alstom Transporte and Isolux Ingeniería a €35·6m contract to install and maintain overhead electrification equipment on the Madrid - Segovia and Valdestillas - Valladolid sections of the Madrid - Valladolid high speed line.

United Kingdom:Leasing company HSBC Rail has awarded Wabtec Rail a US$140m contract to overhaul passenger rolling stock bogies in Doncaster over the next 10 years.

Network Rail has awarded two-year fixed-price contracts for operation of its Stoneblowers. A contract with Amey covers eight machines and is worth £2·9m per year. Balfour Beatty will operate five machines for £1·8m; and Fastline four for £1·6m.

On March 20 Network Rail announced the appointment of Ernst & Young as principal financial advisor for its station development programme, on a three-year contract with an optional extension to 10 years.

USA:On March 31 American Railcar Leasing signed an agreement to purchase 1000 tank wagons from American Railcar Industries during 2007, with options for 300 covered hoppers if factory capacity is available and for 1000 tanks and 400 covered hoppers in 2008.

New Jersey Transit has renewed ACS Transport Revenue’s contract to maintain and upgrade fare collection equipment for a further five years, with options for seven one-year extensions. The $76m contract includes upgrading 543 ticket machines with touch-screen interfaces and smart card compatibility, and supply of 157 new TVMs.

Alstom is to supply Amtrak with spares and technical assistance for the Acela fleet under a five-year agreement worth €67m which was announced in March.

Systra has completed a comprehensive traction power supply study for Long Island Rail Road, using Railsim software to model the effects of a 50% expansion from the current 781 daily train movements by 2020.