Argentina: Buenos Aires city government is considering a proposal to build an 11 km light rail route from Retiro station to La Boca via the Puerto Madero redevelopment area. The scheme has been devised by Swiss-based architect Pedro Valladares, with Stuttgarter Strassenbahn willing to provide 35 second-hand LRVs for €5000 each.

Brazil:Constructora Norberto Odebrecht has been awarded a contract to build the 2 km extension of metro Line 1 in Rio de Janeiro from Siqueira Campos to General Osório. With one intermediate station at Cantagalo, the extension is expected to increase traffic by an additional 65000 passengers/day.

Canada: Toronto commuter rail operator GO Transit announced on May 7 that the federal and provincial governments will provide C$1·05bn to help fund a 10-year C$2·2bn expansion plan approved in April. The 12 projects include additional tracks, bridges to replace level crossings and station upgrading schemes. In addition GO Transit is planning to buy 27 new diesel locos for C$295m, with an option for 26 more, to replace its 45 EMD-built F59s.

Greater Vancouver Transit Authority has voted not to call bids for a C$1·5bn public-private partnership to build a 20 km Richmond - Airport - Vancouver rail link. A cheaper alternative is now being sought using public funding already committed.

Government and provincial funding has been obtained for a C$2·5m technical study and environmental report for a proposed 14 km light rail line between Kitchener and Waterloo, which could later be extended 16 km to Cambridge.

China:In a €160m contract, Saft is supplying Matrics MRX130 rechargable Ni-Cad batteries for the 20 six-car Metropolis trainsets being built in France and China by Alstom and Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock Works for the 16·8 km Nanjing metro Line 1, due to open in 2006.

Ove Arup and Beijing Urban Engineering Design & Research Institute have been appointed to carry out preliminary design for the 6bn yuan 16·5 km second phase of Shenzhen metro Line 4 from Shaoniangong to Longhua South.

Hong Kong MTR has begun training 300 Tianjin Metro operations and maintenance staff ready for the opening of Tianjin Line 1 from Liuyuan to Shuanglin next year.

France:Tracklaying on the 2·2 km extension of Lyon light rail Line T1 from Perrache to Musée des Confluences is due to take place between June and September. Following the completion of associated highway works, overhead wiring and station equipment is to be installed between April and June 2005 for trial running to begin on July 1.

Citing budgetary concerns, the Marseille city authority has decided to postpone completion of its first light rail route to Les Caillols until 2007, with the rest of the three-line 16·4 km programme to be undertaken by 2011. The 2·5 km extension of metro Line 1 to La Fourragère is now unlikely to be completed before 2008 as the first call for tenders produced bids 30% over budget.

The 2·8 km first phase of Bordeaux light rail Line C linking the SNCF station to Place des Quinconces was opened on April 24. An initial 2·2 km section of Line B between Quinconces and St-Nicholas was opened on May 15; the remainder will follow in July.

Public consultation has begun for the planned 1·3 km extension of Paris metro Line 8 from Créteil-Préfecture to Créteil-Parc des Sports. Opening is planned for 2008.

Germany:On May 4 Berlin Transport placed an order with Bombardier for 20 Class HK small-profile metro trainsets. The four-car sets will enter service on lines U1, U2 and U15 from October 2006.

Russia:This month a consortium of CKD Pragoimex, Cegelec, Krnovské Opravny a Streojírny, VKV Praha, Inekon Group and H-Credit expects to sign a €100m contract to refurbish 112 Volgograd trams by 2007, and supply 64 new trams by 2012.

Spain:Revised plans for the extension of Madrid Metro Line 3 from Legazpi (RG 2.04) now include an additional 2·1 km to a new Renfe interchange at Villaverde Alto, increasing the number of new stations to seven. Work on the €500m project to build 7·5 km of new route will start this autumn.

UAE:MVA is developing an activity-based travel demand model to predict likely traffic levels for the 55 stations on the proposed Dubai metro (RG 3.04 p164).

USA:Denver Regional Government has approved the Regional Transportation District’s $4·7bn FasTracks programme to build three new light rail lines, three extensions, and three commuter rail lines over the next 12 years. RTD plans to seek a vote in November for an 0·4% sales tax increase to fund the work.

Revenue services on the Canal Street line and its North Carrollton Avenue branch in New Orleans began on April 13. An official inauguration was planned for May 31, 40 years since the closure of the original route.

A joint venture of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Bovis Lend Lease is to provide construction management services for the $750m Fulton Street Transit Center in New York. Work on a major rebuild of the existing stations will start later this year for completion in 2007.

Venezuela:Civil works contractor Odebrecht has taken delivery of a tunnel boring machine that will be used to dig the extension of Caracas metro Line 3 from La Rinconada to El Valle.