Argentina: On January 13 Metrovias completed the first phase of a 35m pesos project to resignal metro Line D in Buenos Aires, with the commissioning of new lineside signalling. The programme is scheduled for completion in May when ATP becomes operational and control of the line is transferred to the network control centre.

China: Last month civil works were completed on the 28·1 km automated metro link between Terminals 2 and 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport and Dongzhimen. Track laying is expected to get underway next month, ready for trial running to begin in July 2008.

Trelleborg has won a contract to supply its Egg track fasteners to minimise ground-borne vibration on the Songhong Road - Hongqiao Airport extension of Shanghai Metro Line 2.

Capital of Henan province Zhengzhou has submitted plans for a US$1·3bn metro to the Ministry of Construction. The proposals for a 26 km high-capacity east-west line which would open in 2013 replace previous plans for a light rail route.

Preliminary work has begun on an 18 km southern extension of Nanjing metro Line 1, which will branch from the existing line at Andemen to serve Jiangning University. The 6·9bn yuan extension with 12 stations is expected to open on December 1 2008.

On December 30 Guangzhou metro opened an extension of Line 3 from Kecun to Panyu Square and a branch from Tiyu Xilu to Tianhe coach station. Line 4 was extended 7 km from Xinzao to Huangge.

France: On January 17 the first of five pre-production MF2000 five-car metro trainsets entered service on Paris Line 2. A consortium of Alstom, Bombardier and Areva will supply 45 of the 75·75 m long trainsets in 2007-09, and RATP has options for 160 of the 70 km/h sets for Lines 2, 5 and 9 (RG2.04 p92).

India: Delhi Metro Rail Corp has awarded the International Metro Civil Contractors joint venture a €82·6m contract for the design and construction of a 3·2 km bored tunnel between Green Park and Saket, for the southward extension of Line 2. There will be cut-and-cover stations at Hauz Khas and Malviya Nagar. Headed by München-based Dywidag International, the consortium includes Samsung, Shimizu, Larsen & Toubro and Ircon International.

Italy: The Condotte d'Acqua/Pizzarotti consortium has been selected to develop the construction and management programme for Roma Metro Line D. The 20 km automated north-south route with 22 stations is due to open in stages from 2015, with consortium member RATP Developpement undertaking operations and maintenance.

Japan: Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries subsidiary Niigata Transys Co has obtained a licence to produce Bombardier light rail vehicles for the Japanese market. Until now the Japanese firm has used components purchased from Bombardier.

The 12 km Osaka Metro Line 8 opened on December 24. The Imazatosuji Line links Imazato and Itakano, with 11 stations featuring wheelchair access and platform edge safety gates. Trains run at 4 to 10 min headways, with a 24 min journey time.

Nigeria: In December the Africa Export Import Bank signed a US$25m agreement with the Cross River State government, to fund a 12 km monorail which will link Margaret Ekpo Airport with the Tinapa business zone in Calabar within a year.

Romania: A three-year modernisation of the tram network in Timisoara has been completed at a cost of €47m, including €19m from EIB.

Spain: The 1·9 km extension of Bilbao Metro Line 2 from Sestao to Portugalete was due to be opened on January 20, serving an intermediate station at Abatxolo. The route cost €60m to build and is expected to carry 19 000 passengers/day.

UK: Hampshire County Council has formally abandoned plans for the South Hampshire Rapid Transit line between Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth. In November 2005 the government refused funding for the 14 km route, which had received planning approval in 2001.

USA: On December 22 Honolulu city council voted 7-2 in favour of the development of an elevated mass transit system. The mode and route are still to be agreed, but Mayor Mufi Hannemann has backed rail-based technology, anticipating an initial 10 to 16 km section opening by 2012.

Sound Transit has awarded the Northlink Transit Partners joint venture of Earth Tech, HNTB and Jacobs Associates a two-year final design contract worth $38·9m for the 5·0 km University Link extension of Seattle's Central Link light rail line now under construction. Work on the line from Pine Street, through Capitol Hill to the University of Washington is planned to begin in autumn 2008 for opening in 2016.

  • CAPTION: A 6·1 m diameter Lovat ME238SE EPB tunnel boring machine being used by Amec to excavate a 2·5 km extension of London's Docklands Light Railway from King George V to Woolwich Arsenal broke through on the south of the River Thames on December 19. 'Carla' was then returned to the north bank to begin the second bore