Ircon International and Rail Land Development Authority have agreed to establish Railway Station Development Corp to redevelop Indian Railways stations as ‘vibrant centres’ of city life with safe, modern and accessible commercial, entertainment and social facilities.

The Land of Schleswig-Holstein has selected DB Regio Nord for the Lot A contract to operate Netz Mitte services for 13 years from December 2014; operations on the 211 km network are expected to increase from 3·8 million train-km/year to 4·6 million. The Lot B contract will be announced this month.

Rhein-Ruhr transport authority VRR has selected DB Regio to operate local services S5 and S8 for 15 years from December 2014.

Aeroexpress inaugurated a passenger service on a new 2·8 km spur to Sochi airport on February 15. There are four return trips a day, with Transmash ED4M EMUs being used pending delivery of Siemens Desiro RUS units in 2014.

Taiwan’s Council for Economic Planning & Development has approved a revised NT$25·43bn budget for electrifying the 155 km Hualien – Taitung section of the east coast line. It also approved double tracking and electrification of the Pingtung – Chaojhou line by June 2015 at a cost of NT$25·4bn.

RailAmerica’s Providence & Worcester and New England Central short lines have formed the Great Eastern Route strategic alliance, a ‘co-ordinated commercial and operating platform’ to connect CN and CP with rail customers and ports in southern New England.

Ukrainian Railways is trialing ticket machines at Kyiv which passengers can use to print out tickets booked online.

Reconstruction of Sri Lanka Railway’s Colombo – Galle – Matera line by Ircon reached another milestone on January 19, when services resumed on the 50 km between Galle and Indurawa. The 42 km from Galle to Matera reopened in February 2011, and the 72 km from Induwara to Kaluthara is expected to be finished in April.