UK operator First Great Western has conducted research to assess how passengers respond to onboard announcements. The research suggested that up to 40% of the content is 'no longer useful or relevant' to the passenger.

Under a funding agreement signed on February 8, the European Investment Bank is lending €200m to the French region of Rhône-Alpes to meet 50% of the cost of 40 Bombardier double-deck Régio2N EMUs ordered for TER services. Deliveries are due to take place in 2014-16, with the new units to be deployed on the Saint-Etienne - Lyon - Ambérieu and Villefranche - Lyon - Vienne routes.

Czech open-access operator LEO Express launched its full revenue service of eight train pairs between Praha and Bohumín on January 18.

Projects to increase capacity on the Botnia Corridor in Sweden have been awarded €3·5m of TEN-T funding. Construction of a 2·8 km double-track section between Stångån and Dingersjö on the Gävle - Sundsvall line will be studied, and 750 m long passing loops provided at Källene, Stegskogen and Gårdsjön.

Conversion of Croatia's final sections of 3 kV DC electrification to 25 kV 50 Hz was completed during December.