Argentina: Buenos Aires metro operator Metrovías has put into service on Line D the first of four six-car trains purchased from Nagoya Subway. Arriving in Argentina during the 2001 financial crisis, they were stored in bond pending payment of import duties.

Austria: Ascom Security Solutions has won a SFr3m contract to supply Wiener Linien with passenger information systems for stations on extensions to metro lines U1 and U2 which are expected to open by 2010.

Brazil: Belo Horizonte Metro has commissioned a €6m Ansaldo computer-based interlocking covering the 7 km between Vilarinho and São Gabriel stations. The multi-station CBI has a central control at Vilarinho and four peripheral posts.

China: Knorr-Bremse has signed a contract with Mitsui covering the supply of its EP2002 braking for 200 metro cars ordered for Beijing Line 10 and the Olympic Line.

Czech Republic: Praha city council and the transport authority have approved plans to fit automatic ticket gates to metro stations, and test security measures including CCTV and machines to detect explosives.

Germany: Glühwein was served on December 10 to mark the opening of a 0·54 km extension of Stuttgart Line U5 from Freiberg to M?€?nchfeld, which cost €10m.

On December 16 Bombardier announced a €70m order from Dortmund for 47 Flexity Classic trams, with an option for a further five. Deliveries of the air-conditioned cars will run from October 2007 to August 2010.

India: Corys TESS has won a contract from Delhi Metro to supply and maintain for six years a full cab simulator with a six degrees of freedom motion platform, replicating the metro's Rotem trainsets.

Pakistan: Following a feasibility study by PR and the Capital Development Authority, four companies have submitted a bid to build an 8 km hill railway in Islamabad to carry tourists on a circular route between Shakarparian, Rose & Jasmine Garden, Folk Art Museum and Rawal Lake.

Poland: Using 50% funding from the EU, Wroclaw has exercised a €28m option with Skoda Transportation for nine five-section low-floor trams based on the 14T Vektra vehicles being supplied to Praha. Deliveries will begin in January 2007.

Spain: The Ministry of Development has signed an agreement with the Catalunya regional government and the municipality of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat to build a new interchange at La Torrasa which will be served by Barcelona metro Lines 1 and 9. The project includes the relocation of Bellvitge station on Renfe's suburban network.

UAE: Mashreqbank and Mizuho Corporate Bank have signed an agreement providing a guarantee facility for the Dubai Rapid Link consortium which holds the contract to build the Dubai metro (RG 7.05 p391).

Nakheel has awarded Marubeni, Hitachi and Obayachi a US$390m contract to build a monorail serving its property developments in Dubai. Opening in December 2008, it will serve as a feeder to the metro.

United Kingdom: Main contractor Multiplex has awarded Westinghouse Rail Systems the contract for resignalling London Underground's Central Line at White City as part of a major development over the depot site.

USA: MTA New York City Transit awarded Wabtec's MotivePower subsidiary a $93m contract for 28 twin-cab diesel locos, with a $29m option for a further 10. Able to work within restricted clearances, they will enter service in 2007-09 hauling works trains.

On December 1 North County Transit District Board voted to appoint Herzog Transit Services subsidiary TransitAmerica in place of Amtrak to operate and maintain its 97 km commuter rail line within San Diego County for five years from July 2006.

Light rail services between North Avenue and Timonium on Baltimore's Central Line resumed on December 4 after an 11-month suspension for double-tracking. The route to Hunt Valley will reopen in February.

San Diego Association of Governments has awarded Parsons a preliminary engineering and environmental studies contract worth up to $20m over seven years for SanDiego Trolley's $939m Mid-Coast project. The 17 km light rail line along Interstate 5 will link Old Town Transit Center to University City in La Jolla, serving eight stations.

Denver RTD has tentatively agreed to build the planned 39 km link to Denver International Airport as a diesel commuter rail service, as right-of-way owner Union Pacific objected to catenary for a light rail route. Work would begin in 2011 for opening in 2014, with the number of proposed stops now reduced from 12 to 8.

The city of Norfolk has reached agreement to buy 8 km of disused track from Norfolk Southern to form part of a planned 12 km light rail line from Eastern Medical Center to Newtown and Kempsville. NS will receive $5m in cash plus discounted access to a multi-storey car park valued at $2·6m. Work would start in 2007 for completion in 2009.

Orange County Transportation Authority has approved a commuter rail expansion programme to double weekday Metrolink trips and run at weekends (p16). The proposal is a substitute for the $1bn, 15 km CenterLine project that was scrapped in October after 12 years of planning.

  • CAPTION: The first of nearly 200 spans for an 8 km viaduct to carry Seattle's Central Link light rail line through Tukwila was installed on November 30, using a 116m steel truss on the 20m concrete piers. With construction of the line one-third complete, Sound Transit hopes that Seattle to Tukwila will open in mid-2009 and the rest of the line to Sea-Tac airport by the end of that year
    Photo: JulianWolinsky