Canada: On July 17 Ottawa city council approved an environmental assessment of the proposed 31 km north-south light rail route from the Rideau Centre to Barrhaven. Bids for the C$675m project could be submitted next year for opening in 2009.

China: The State Council has approved the Harbin metro project. Completion of the 14·4 km first phase with 18 stations is planned for 2009, at a cost of 16·3bn yuan.

Trial running on the 21·7 km first line of the Nanjing metro began on August 12. The 8·5bn yuan line between Olympia and Maigaoqiao has 16 stations, and formal opening is planned for September 1. Construction of the 25·2 km east-west Line 2 is expected to begin in October.

Beijing Metro has announced that all stations on lines 1 and 2 are to be fitted with platform screen doors by the end of 2007, and the trains fitted with air-conditioning. Stations on new lines will be built with screen doors.

Estonia: Tallinn city council is studying the feasibility of extending the tram network to the Lasnamäe and Mustamäe residential areas by 2015 and 2020. The cost is estimated at 4bn kroons, and an application for EU funding is planned for 2006.

India: The Andhra Pradesh government announced on July 27 that the national government has agreed to meet 20% of the costs of a proposed metro in Hyderabad. Expressions of interest in a BOT concession are to be called. The planned Miyapur - Charminar, Secunderabad - Falaknuma and Tarnaka - Punjagutta - Hitech City lines would have a total length of 59 km.

Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit has called tenders for consultancy services on the planned Rs60bn metro, which is awaiting cabinet approval. An 18 km east-west line and a 15·6 km north-west line are proposed.

Mexico: A consortium of ICA, Doppelmayer and Ceco de México has been selected as preferred bidder to build a 3 km peoplemover system linking Terminals 1 and 2 at Mexico City's Benito Ju? rez Airport (RG 7.05 p396). Following signature of a contract worth 677m pesos, work was expected to begin last month.

Norway: Thales has ordered 10 million Mifare Ultralight low-cost smart tickets from Magnadata, for use on the Oslo metro.

Taiwan: After a 12-year legal dispute, the Supreme Court has instructed the Department of Rapid Transit Systems to pay Matra NT$1·6bn in compensation for delays which held up the French firm's work on the Mucha mini-metro line in Taipei.

Thailand: The Finance Ministry has announced that a holding company to oversee Bangkok's urban transport will be established by November. It will have a starting capital of 3bn baht, and will take over the state shareholdings in existing and planned metro and mass transit projects.

UAE: On July 26 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries awarded Alcatel a US$250m contract to supply SelTrac S40 communications-based driverless train control and NetTrac central control technology for the Dubai metro.

United Kingdom: Transport for London has appointed Mott MacDonald as technical advisor for the project to extend the East London Line, taking the reference designs to the preliminary design and approval stage and advising on engineering aspects of the scheme (RG 7.05 p392).

Multiplex Construction (UK) has awarded GrantRail a contract to build a new 16-track depot for LU's Central Line beneath the White City retail and residential development in west London. Work will start next month for completion by April 2006.

USA: Septa has awarded Vossloh Kiepe a $11·2m contract to replace the traction equipment on 127 Philadelphia metro cars.

A $133m contract for work in the Fulton Street Transit Center in Lower Manhattan has been awarded to Slattery Skanska by MTA New York City Transit. A concrete box for the Dee Street concourse will link six existing metro stations and the new PATH terminal at the World Trade Center site.

Venezuela: The Andean Development Corp has approved a US$71·8m loan to Metro de Caracas for maintenance and repair work.