On April 15 Guatemala President Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen and Transport Minister Fritz Garcia-Gallont joined Ferrovias Guatemala Chairman Henry Posner III and General Manager Renato Fernandez Ravelo to celebrate the return of freight services to the 914mm gauge network after a three year break. The thrice-weekly train will haul cement 60 km from a factory at El Chile to a new FG terminal near Guatemala City.

On March 17 the General Managers of the Czech and Austrian railways Dalibor Zeleny and Helmut Draxler signed an accord to create a joint venture to operate international freight trains. The Slovenian and Polish railways were expected to sign up last month to create a four-country alliance which will compete for north-south business with the DB-NS Rail Cargo Europe venture.

CAPTION: A five-car MLX-001 maglev development train (above) set a new world record speed at Japan’s Yamanashi test track on April 14. With 13 staff on board, two runs each sustained 552 km/h for three seconds, breaking the unmanned record of 550·8 and the manned record of 531 km/h. Earlier the vehicles had been formed into two three-car sets for passing tests (inset) during which a closing speed of 966 km/h was achieved