Argentina: The Soldati group is planning to develop leisure attractions including cinemas, theme bars and amusements for children at stations along its 15 km Tren de la Costa light rail route, linking Maipu and Delta in the Buenos Aires suburbs. The company has confirmed that it is considering the sale of some holdings in this venture and the Parque de la Costa theme park.
Australia: Hobart City Council is seeking expressions of interest in financing and developing the Sullivans Cove Tramway, a 1067mm gauge heritage system that would be operated with double-deck cars.
Canada: Toronto City Council’s budget committee has approved a $12·9m project to build a light rail line from Union Station to Exhibition Place. It is hoped to complete the 1·6 km addition to the TTC network in 2000.
China: Philips Hong Kong Ltd has been awarded a contract by MTR Corp to supply an in-cab CCTV platform monitoring system featuring LCD screens and microwave transmission. All cabs and platforms are to be equipped by 2001.
Croatia: Zagreb City Council has commissioned MVA to establish a transport master plan involving detailed study of the existing tram and rail networks. Expected for completion in 1999, the plan will include a phased 20-year enhancement programme.
France: Lyon Rapid Transit has ordered 43 Citadis low-floor light rail vehicles from GEC Alsthom at a cost of Fr470m. Carrying 200 passengers each, the LRVs are due to enter service on the city’s first two routes (RG 8.97 p510) in 2000.
Great Britain: On March 20 Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott unveiled plans to transfer London Underground asset maintenance to the private sector, raising funds to tackle an investment backlog estimated at £1·2bn. LU will continue to own and operate the network, but up to three contracts will be awarded for maintenance and modernisation of the infrastructure and rolling stock. GIBB Ltd, which currently manages LU’s Track Replacement Project, is planning to form a consortium to bid for the contracts.
Docklands Light Railway trains began calling at Canning Town on March 5, offering interchange with Silverlink Richmond - North Woolwich services.
Greece: The Ministry of Public Works is considering an extension of Athens Metro Line 3 from Pentagono to a proposed airport at Spata. Previous plans have included a 5 km Pentagono - Stavros route (DM96 p36).Latvia: Ganz Ansaldo of Hungary is to supply traction equipment for 60 Riga tram cars now being refurbished.
Philippines: CKD Dopravni systemy of the Czech Republic has begun testing the first three of 73 Type RT8M LRVs ordered for Line 3 in Manila. The 30·3m vehicles accommodate up to 300 passengers and are air-conditioned.
Switzerland: Following the completion of a new tram route along the Rue du Stand, Genève Transport Line 16 between Cornavin and Moillesulaz began on March 27.
USA: A ceremony to mark the start of tracklaying on San Jose’s Tasman West light rail extension was held at the Middlefield station site on April 17.