n Shortlisting of qualified bidders for the Taipei - Kaohsiung high speed line in Taiwan could be announced this month following close of tenders on January 15. The winner should be announced in November.
n South Korea’s Ministry of Transport & Construction is planning to proceed with a 66 km high capacity rail link from Seoul to the future international airport being built on reclaimed land in Inchon harbour off the west coast. Private enterprise will be asked to fund the scheme next year.
n As the merger trend continues in the USA, look for pressure to build for some form of open access following a Surface Transportation Board ruling on January 2 that railways serving utilities had the right to set their own prices and routes. Three utilities had filed against Conrail and Union Pacific in 1994, claiming that the railways had prevented them from lowering coal delivery costs by using a competitor for part of the journey.
n Watch for award of a contract for up to 30 light rail cars for Dublin. Bidders in the closely fought contest include GEC Alsthom with its Citadis design and Siemens with a version of the Combino.
n Belgian National Railways expects to place a contract next month for 80 Class 41 two-car DMU sets; supplier tipped to win the deal is GEC Alsthom Transporte of Spain. Other bidders include Jenbacher Werke, Siemens and Bombardier Eurorail. A contract for 240 double-deck coaches is also in the offing.
n New Jersey Transit is seeking firms interested in a DBOM project for a 55 km light rail network connecting Camden with Trenton. Diesel powered vehicles are specified, and some funding will need to be arranged by the contractor. An extension between Camden and Glassboro may be included in the package.