• Central Japan Railway President Masayuki Matsumoto confirmed on April 27 that the company hopes to launch revenue services on the first phase of the Chuo maglev line between Tokyo and Nagoya by 2025, with the planned Nagoya - Osaka section to follow. JR Central has allocated ¥6bn in its 2007 budget for further testing and expansion works at the Yamanashi maglev test centre.
  • The European Commission has agreed to co-finance a €2·6m study of the proposed Ferrmed rail freight axis linking Scandinavia and the North Sea ports with Algeciras and the Western Mediterranean area. Promoted by an association of 108 organisations from nine countries, the so-called 'Red Banana' is intended to facilitate international rail freight, using common standards to permit 1 500 m long trains carrying up to 5 000 tonnes. Consultants are expected to start work on market, technical and environmental studies in July and report by October 2008.
  • On May 4 the board of Belgium's SNCB Holding approved an €95m capital increase for its train operating business SNCB, to strengthen its finances and reduce interest charges by an estimated €21m a year. The move follows earlier recapitalisations in 2005 and 2006 totalling €415m.