Alstom Transport and Transmash Holding have launched a project to develop a new-generation 160 km/h EMU for use in Russia. The modular ED10 family will be available with up to 12 cars in high and low floor variants. A prototype is due to begin test running in 2012.

The Thai parliament has voted to support a draft framework for negotiations with China over the development of a high speed network in Thailand (RG 11.10 p48). Plans for an extension of SRT’s metre-gauge line from Nong Khai to Vientiane have been dropped by the government of Laos following the start of work on a 530 km standard-gauge link to Xingshuangbanna in Yunnan at the end of October.

Amtrak reported a new ridership record for the year to September 30, with a 5·7% increase to 287 million passenger-journeys. Fare revenue also increased to a record $1·74bn.

European Directive 2008/57/CE covering the interoperability of high speed and conventional networks has been transposed into Spanish law. It excludes the metre-gauge networks.

Slovakia’s Ministry of Transport has announced that the previous government’s plans to merge infrastructure manager ZSR, passenger operator ZSSK and ZSSK Cargo into new holding company Slovenské Zeleznice by 2013 will not go ahead (RG 4.10 p27).

QR National CEO Lance Hockridge said on October 29 that construction of the 69 km Northern Missing Link connecting coal railways in central Queensland had reached the halfway point, as part of the A$1·1bn Goonyella – Abbot Point Expansion project due to be completed in 2012 (RG 12.08 p947).

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie confirmed on October 27 that he was not prepared to reverse his decision to scrap the ARC trans-Hudson tunnel project (RG 11.10 p30). Amtrak said later that it was not interested in taking over the preparatory works undertaken by New Jersey Transit.