Bangladesh has signed loan agreements for the planned 6·2 km Padma Multi-purpose Bridge, which is intended to cut Dhaka – Khulna road journeys from 12 h to 3 h and will include provision for a rail line. The World Bank is providing US$1·2bn, JICA US$425m and IDB US$140m towards the US$2·9bn project.

Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corp has agreed to acquire land for a 6 km Indian Railways branch to serve Ultratech’s Turkanui cement works, and for a 13 km line to a Hindustan Zinc plant near Bhilwara.

During the fourth session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly, North Korean Premier Choe Yong Rim announced plans to accelerate railway modernisation and introduce heavier rails to increase capacity.

Czech infrastructure manager SZDC has completed a KC13·1bn five-year renewal of track, structures, 25 kV electrification and signalling on the 102 km Plzen – Cheb line, raising speeds from 90 to 120 km/h.