Argentina: The government is to call tenders for the design, construction and operation over 30 years of a rail link between the centre of Buenos Aires and Ezeiza Airport, with the fastest journey time over the 40 km not to exceed 40min. Initial proposals include an extension of metro Line E, a branch from the Roca system and a new alignment along the Riachuelo river.

Australia: National Rail has ordered 73 wagons for A$10m from ANI Engineering for the transport of steel billet and slab produced by BHP (RG 4.99 p196). Formed of three permanently-coupled platforms, each wagon will have a tare of 51 tonnes and a payload of over 200 tonnes.

Queensland Rail’s Redbank workshops has been awarded an A$40m contract to build 400 container flats for completion by December 2000, and upgrade 320 wagons by March next year.

Bulgaria: Bulgarian State Railways has awarded Alcatel a FFr66m contract to equip the 200 km Stara Zagora - Burgas route with a communications-based train control system to ETCS Level 1 standard. Due for completion by mid 2000, the project is being funded by the European Union’s Phare programme.

China: MTR Corp of Hong Kong has awarded Gammon Construction Ltd a contract to undertake piling and foundation work for the 13ha Tseung Kwan O depot. The 12·5 km Tseung Kwan O extension is due to be completed in December 2002.

Dragages et Travaux Publics has been awarded an HK$1·3bn contract to build Hang Hau station on the Tseung Kwan O extension. It includes construction of a public transport interchange and foundation work for six apartment blocks.

Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp has awarded Alcatel a 45m euros contract to supply a signalling system for the first phase of the West Rail project from Kowloon to Tuen Mun, scheduled to open in 2003. Seltrac automatic train control should allow peak headways of less than 96sec at speeds of up to 130 km/h.

Germany: DB Regio has ordered six driver-training simulators from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH of München for delivery from mid-2000 at a cost of DM33m.

Great Britain: The Engineering Link has won a contract to provide design, technical support, project management and certification services for the refurbishment of Northern Spirit’s Class 142 and 158 DMUs at Neville Hill and Heaton depots. Seats, lighting, heating systems, partitions and toilets are to be upgraded on over 60 units at a cost of £5m.

Connex Rail has awarded Cubic Transportation Systems Ltd a contract to install and maintain ticket-operated barrier gates at all its London termini, worth £7m over five years. Datel Rail Systems has been awarded a £4·5m contract to install audio and visual passenger information systems at 89 Connex South Central stations.

Israel: IR has shortlisted three firms to supply four-car tilting diesel multiple-units: Adtranz (VT612), Fiat (Cummins-engined Pendolinos) and Talgo (push-pull trainsets). General Manager Amos Uzani is keen to use tilting sets to reinstate inter-city services between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where they could average 105 km/h on the sharply curved 88 km line.

South Africa Spoornet has awarded Alstom a contract to supply Agate control electronics for the rebuilding of Class 6E electric locomotives, with deliveries due to begin this June. Three prototypes are expected to be followed by 99 series rebuilds.

Spain: The Ministry of Development has awarded a consortium of Dimetronic and Adtranz Signal a Pts3·8bn contract to install centralised traffic control between Casetas and Alsasua. Work is due to begin this year and take 30 months to complete.

GIF has awarded Corsan SA and Corviam SA a Pts3·8bn civil works contract for 8·2 km of the Madrid - Barcelona high speed line in Madrid, and FCC Construcción a Pts8·7bn contract to build 21 km between Bardallur and Zaragoza. Bids have been invited for the 21·2 km section avoiding Zaragoza and 7·2 km of junctions.

The Ministry of Development has called tenders for upgrading the Arbo - Salvaterra and Caldelas - Guillarei sections of the Monforte de Lemos - Vigo main line, expected to take 26 months within a budget of Pts2·5bn. Work on the 24·4 km will include 11·7 km of new construction as well as modifications to electrification and signalling.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Railways has ordered 15 DMUs from Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Factory of China for US$36·8m.

Tunisia: SNCFT has ordered 21 locomotives for inter-city passenger service from General Motors of Canada for C$55m. Funding has been provided under a C$100m line of credit from Canada’s Export Development Corp.

USA: Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway has awarded Alstom Signalling Inc a contract to supply its Transportation Management System, which will be used to control 300 km of CTC and unsignalled track from EJ&E’s Joliet headquarters.

Harmon Industries subsidiary SESCO Inc has been awarded a $6·2m contract to design and install a communications and central control system for Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s LRT extensions to Garland and Plano, and upgrade equipment on the existing network. Work on the 38·4 km extensions is due for completion in 2003.

MotivePower Industries subsidiaries G&G Locotronics and Q-Tron have been awarded contracts totalling $3m, with G&G to supply 30 electrical cabinets for the rebuilding of 30 GM SD40-2 locomotives. Amtrak has ordered 14 QTRAC-1000 traction control kits from Q-Tron for a locomotive rebuilding programme.

USA: Power generator Texas Utilities has purchased three former Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico General Electric E60C-2 electric locos of 6000hp to operate lignite shuttle trains at its Martin Lake plant, replacing E25Bs dating from the 1970s.

San Francisco Municipal Railway has awarded Booz·Allen & Hamilton a $9·3m contract to undertake an engineering review as well as quality assurance and testing of 59 LRVs ordered from Breda, scheduled for delivery between November 1999 and September 2001. The consultancy will also supervise door and other modifications to 77 existing Breda LRVs.

Uzbekistan: Uzbek Railways has signed an A$1·2m contract with Queensland Rail Consulting Services of Australia for the provision of management advice. A team of consultants is to visit UR for up to six months.