Work has started on the construction of a rail link between the port of Kyaukpyu in western Myanmar and Kunming in China via Ruili. It is being built with Chinese assistance, as China plans to use the new deep-water port on Maday Island as an oil import terminal.

The transport ministries of Italy and Slovenia signed an accord on October 12 to fund detailed studies for the Divaca – Trieste rail link (RG 10.08 p789). Slovenia will contribute €29m and Italy €22m, with a further €51m coming from the European Union. The two countries will establish an EEIG to manage the project.

Following the withdrawal of proposals to merge its Pilbara iron ore operations with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto announced on October 20 that it plans to invest US$3·1bn to expand production capacity from 220 to 283 million tonnes a year, including extra port facilities and the purchase of six additional trains.

An operations control centre opened in Utrecht on October 8, bringing together 300 staff from Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail and train operators.

Residents in the Swiss canton of St Gallen voted by 80·8% to approve proposals for a SFr200m S-Bahn on September 28.

On October 18 Union Pacific marked the completion of a $370m intermodal terminal at Joliet which will boost its handling capacity in the Chicago area by 500000 containers/year.