Austria: Wiener Lokalbahnen has ordered six three-section T2500 LRVs from BWS for Sch157m. Electrical equipment for the LRVs, due to enter service in September 2000, will be supplied by Adtranz, ELIN EBG and Siemens.

Belarus: Insond of Austria is to participate in building the Rakauskaya - Kountsaushchyna section of the Minsk metro.

China: Hong Kong MTR Corp has called tenders for tunnelling between Lam Tin and Ng Kwai Shan on the 10 km extension to Tseung Kwan O. Five contractors have been shortlisted for a second tunnelling package for the section of line at Pak Sing Kok. Each contract is valued at around HK$2bn, and both are due to get under way by the end of this year.

Germany: Siemens has completed installation of a glass-reinforced plastic centre section in an LRV operated by Dortmund City Transport.

Ireland: The government has released a consultancy report backing the original surface routing for the Dublin LUAS light rail line, around Iú100m cheaper than an underground alternative. The project was expected to receive the final go-ahead last month.

Singapore: The TransitLink consortium including SMRT has retained MVA to produce a business specification for updating Singapore’s fare collection system. The report would establish a framework for introducing smartcards to replace magnetic ticketing.

Spain: Central and regional government have signed an agreement for Pts44·6bn to be invested in Barcelona metro and Catalunya Railways infrastructure over the next two years. This includes Pts17bn for the Montbau - Canyelles extension of Line 3 and Pts2·8bn for Roquetes - Trinitat Nova on Line 4, as well as Pts5·6bn for doubling FGC’s Sant Boi de Llobregat - Santa Coloma de Cervelló route and Pts195m for electrifying the Igualada branch.

The Basque regional government has approved the final alignment of the 10-stop San Mamés - Atxuri light rail route, to open as single-track between Pío Baroja and Atxuri. Funding for the Pts4·4bn project is currently under discussion.

Ukraine: Parliament has approved the purchase by Dniepropetrovsk, Odesa, Dnieprodzerzhinsk and Kyiv of 157 Type T6B5 trams for US$44·9m. Final assembly will be undertaken by Tatra-Yug of Odesa, established by CKD Praha and Inekon of the Czech Republic with local partners.

USA: Portland’s Tri-Met has commissioned a train control system for the city’s light rail network, built and installed by Union Switch & Signal. The new control centre features a real-time display of train movements, fed by a $16·5m optic fibre communications network.

Bi-State Development Agency has awarded a $29·5m contract to a joint venture of Kilian Corp, Baxmeyer Construction and Illinois Excavators Inc to build the Memorial Hospital - Belleville Area College section of the St Clair County extension to the St Louis MetroLink light rail system.

New York City Transit has ordered 2700 axles for subway cars from Swasap of South Africa. The firm will send them to a US machine shopto be married with wheels from a Japanese company. Swasap had previously supplied axles to Septa.