Brazil: Stage I of the Salvador metro (RG 11.99 p691) is to be built by a consortium of Siemens and local companies Camargo, Corrêa and Andrade Gutierres.

Italy: A guided transit system based on Adtranz AGT technology has opened at Roma’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport. Two two-car trains link the main terminal with a new satellite building.

Portugal: Porto Metro has awarded Schindler of Switzerland a contract to supply 49 escalators and 28 lifts.

Romania: The European Investment Bank has granted a loan of US$63m towards modernisation of tram routes in the southwest suburbs of Bucuresti at a cost of US$1·5m per route-km.

Thailand: State Railway of Thailand has appointed a consortium to advise on future transit use of alignments occupied by the defunct Hopewell BERTS project and other SRT rail corridors in Bangkok. Led by Team Consultants, the consortium includes JMP Consultants, Electrowatt, LEK and Asdecon.

USA: North County Transit District’s proposed Oceanside - Escondido light rail line in California has moved to final design. To be operated by diesel-powered LRVs, the 34·4 km route will utilise an existing right-of-way.

Voters in Virginia Beach rejected light rail proposals in November, putting in jeopardy the long-planned scheme of the city of Norfolk, Virginia, which may now consider an alternative route to keep the project alive.

South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has extended its R5 commuter route from Downington to Thorndale in Chester county, where parking for 450 cars has been provided.

Long Island Rail Road commissioned the first of its dual-mode locomotives on November 15, permitting through running to Penn station in New York from LIRR’s non-electrified lines.

Vietnam: Hanoi’s city administration is planning to reopen a short section of the former tram network in October to carry tourists around the old quarter.