Australia:The two-year A$30m Tram To It project has been launched in Melbourne to reduce tram journey times and increase reliability by giving Yarra Trams priority at road junctions and improving traffic management.

Bangladesh:Contech Ltd has proposed a 45 km underground link from Saidabad to Gabtoli in Dhaka at a cost of US$348·4m. A build-operate-transfer concession is envisaged, with three years of construction to be followed by 19 years of operation.

China:Tianjin Subway Corp has signed two 30-year agreements to lease 100 metro cars for use on Line 1, which closed in March 2002 for rebuilding and extension and is expected to reopen in 2006. Work is to begin this year on the 22·6 km Line 2 and 26 km Line 3.

Czech Republic:A feasibility study is planned for a KC3bn fast tram route between Most and Zatec in northern Bohemia, on which construction could start in 2008.

Germany:München City Transport opened a €15m control centre in Moosach on February 1, replacing 11 signalling centres on the city’s 85·8 km metro network.

Leipzig City Transport is planning a new tram maintenance depot, which would open in 2008 to replace buildings from the 1920s.

Israel:Haifa municipality has dropped its plans for a 60 km three-line tramway in favour of a guided bus scheme.

Russia:Skoda DT and Vagonmash St Petersburg are to supply 10 trains for the metro currently under construction in Kazan. An initial 8·7 km section of the first line is expected to open during the city’s 1000th anniversary celebrations in 2005.

Spain:Madrid regional government has awarded contracts worth €17·6m to design 14 light rail and metro projects in its expansion programme to 2007, expecting to tender for civil works at the end of June. Bids have already been invited for civil works on the Line 1 extension to Ensanche de Vallecas and the new station on Line 10 at Aviación Española (RG 2.04 p76).

Taiwan:SAB Wabco has signed a €8·5m contract to supply brakes and automatic couplers for 42 three-car metro trains which Siemens is building for Kaohsiung.

United Kingdom:The UK Light Rapid Transit Forum has been established to represent private sector companies in discussions with national and local government.

A contract to supply on-train CCTV for the Docklands Light Railway has been awarded to Falcon Protec and Wavelength Solutions. Six cameras will be installed on each of the 94 trains by 2005, transmitting live images to the control centre via a wireless LAN.

USA:In March Utah Transit Authority began taking delivery of 27 UTDC light rail vehicles it is sub-leasing from Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, following tests with an initial two in 2001.

Charlotte Area Transit System has selected Siemens to supply 16 light rail vehicles under a $52·5m contract which includes an option for a further 25. Delivery of the 70% low-floor cars will begin next year, and the 17·6 km South Corridor Line is expected to open in October 2006.