Algerian state railway SNTF has shortlisted eight bidders to purchase its infrastructure engineering business unit Infrafer. Reported bidders include Russian railway RZD, OHL of Spain, Sateba and Seco Rail of France, Alstom, Orascom of Egypt plus Yapi Merkezi of Turkey and Mota Engil of Portugal. Technical and financial bids will be required within three months of the formal invitation to tender.
The Romanian government has invited tenders for consultants to assist with the proposed privatisation of the state railway´s freight business CFR Marfa. The intention is to award a contract around the beginning of 2008.
In the latest round of talks between North Korea and South Korea, an agreement was reached on October 4 to introduce cross-border freight services on the Munsang – Bondong route, although no timescale has been set. This is intended to support further development at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex in the border region. A through passenger train to China is to operate over the Kyeongui line next year, in order to carry supporters of the joint Korean team to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
DB Regio AG has ordered 42 four-car Talent 2 EMUs of Class ET428 from Bombardier to operate Nürnberg S-Bahn services from December 2010. Valued at €170m, the order for is the first to be placed under a framework agreement covering 321 vehicles which was signed in February.
On October 3 Crossrail and Dillen & Le Jeune Cargo announced they are to merge to create a pan-European independent traction provider. Based in Switzerland and operating under the Crossrail name, the company will be jointly owned by Babcock & Brown, which will manage financial and strategic development, and the founders of DLC who will be responsible for operations.