National Railways of Zimbabwe has withdrawn commuter trains serving Bulawayo and Harare. These were introduced when fuel shortages severely limited road public transport, but NRZ is short of motive power and locos were tied up working near-empty trains.

Pakistan acceded to COTIF on September 1, as the 49th OTIF member state. Application of the CIM uniform rules and consignment note is expected to simplify freight transport between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

Work is underway to reinstate the 22 km branch from Balfour on South Africa’s Johannesburg – Durban main line to the reopened Grootvlei power station.

The Dutch province of Zuid-Holland is to call tenders for the operation of passenger services on the 18 km Gouda – Alphen aan den Rijn line for 15 years from December 2016. NS Reizigers current operates a half-hourly service. In May 2012 the province dropped plans for conversion to light rail.

Crossing loops are being lengthened along the Cape Town – Johannesburg main line between Kimberley and De Aar, to accommodate manganese trains of more than 100 wagons en route to Port Elizabeth.

The 67 km Echuca – Toolamba line in the Australian state of Victoria was reopened last month, having been disused since 2007. Qube Logistics is operating up to six trains/week carrying rice for export through the Port of Melbourne.