Australia: The first of 11 Bombardier Flexity trams entered service in Adelaide last month. Six will be running by April, and the rest of the A$58m fleet at the end of the year.

Brazil: São Paulo has called international tenders for a 30-year PPP concession covering metro Line 4. The first phase is planned to run 12·8 km southwest of the city centre from Luz to Morumbi.

Czech Republic: Praha Transport plans to invest KC3bn in trams, buses and metro vehicles during 2006, up KC800m on 2005.

France: The greater Bordeaux authority has agreed to retain Alstom’s Innorail APS ground-level power supply on the city’s tram network (RG 2.04 p87). By way of compensation, it will receive a royalty on future installations in France and abroad.

Germany: On January 11 München underground operator MVG formally put into service in its metro tunnels a 56m long, four-section suction cleaner supplied by Socofer and Neu at a cost of €5·5m. Around 1400 tonnes of rubbish is removed from the metro each year.

Hungary: BKV has awarded the Bamco consortium of Vinci Construction, Strabag and Hídépíto a €207m contract to bore twin 7·3 km tunnels for Budapest metro Line 4.

Pakistan: Chief Minister of Punjab Pervaiz Elahi said on January 14 that consultants from France and Hong Kong are to produce a report which will advise on the most appropriate mode of rail-based mass transit for development in Lahore. Previous schemes foundered in 1991, 1995 and 2000.

Spain: Under the revised transport investment programme for the Barcelona region, €83m is to be spent on refurbishing 14 city metro stations in 2006.

As the first phase of a €40m programme, contactless smartcard ticketing was introduced for annual season ticket holders in Zone A of the Madrid metro and Renfe suburban networks last month. Magnetic stripe ticketing is to be phased out during 2007-11.

Switzerland: The first of 68 series-built low floor Cobra trams for Zürich was rolled out at Bombardier’s Villeneuve plant on December 22. It will enter service in March, follow-ed by two or three per month until 2009.

Thailand: On November 29 Hopewell Holdings entered into an agreement to sell Hopewell (Thailand) Ltd to United Success Ltd for 500m baht, plus 20% of any sum over 2bn baht which may be recovered from the Thai government in legal disputes over the failed Bangkok Elevated Road & Train System. Hopewell will record a gain of HK$265m in the current financial year, from a write-back of provisions made for development expenditure.

USA: Global Railway Industries subsidiary Bach-Simpson Corp has been awarded a $22m contract to provide event recorders for 340 PATH metro cars being built by Kawasaki for delivery in 2006-09. Wabtec subsidiaries Wabco Transit and Vapor Rail will supply brakes, couplers, door controls and current collectors worth $65m.

Last month Lola and Vicki began boring the twin 2·73 km tunnels from Mariachi Plaza on the 9·7 km Los Angeles Gold Line Eastside extension project. The pair of 1000 tonne earth pressure balance TBMs were custom-built in Germany by Herrenknecht at a cost of $10m each.

On December 16 New Orleans RTA was given the go-ahead to use up to $70m of federal funds to repair damage to the tram network caused by Hurricane Katrina. On January 9 work began on a planned $10·8m modernisation of the St Charles Avenue route.

Vietnam: On January 3 Prime Minister Phan Van Khai approved proposals for a 13·7 km underground metro between Ben Thanh Market and the Thu Duc district in Ho Chi Minh City, with a 14·5 km bus rapid transit connection to Bien Hoa. The US$626m cost would be met from Japanese development loans; opening is anticipated for 2012.