n Swiss Federal Railways and tour operator Kuoni have signed a co-operation agreement to develop rail tourism in Europe. SBB is to take a stake in Kuoni-owned Railtour Suisse and Kuoni will invest in the SBB subsidiary RailAway. To secure a larger share of the short breaks and leisure travel markets, the two organisations aim to co-ordinate marketing strategies through existing sales outlets.

n With the aim of introducing a national multi-operator system, the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works & Water Management is providing funding for two pilot smart card projects. The contactless Tripper Pass developed by Motorola is being tested in Groningen, and five urban operators are collaborating in a second project where fares vary according to distance travelled.

n London Transport has widened its range of youth fares available to young people aged 16 or 17 and students in full-time education. Savings of 30% are now available on weekly LT Cards, valid for travel on London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and bus services, as well as on point-to-point LU season tickets.

n French National Railways planned to unveil a renovated TGV Sud-Est trainset at Paris Gare de Lyon on September 17.

n German Railway has added an extra stop on its Saturday night Disco-Train service (RG 8.99 p496) between Schwerin and Parchim to allow revellers to visit a disco at Spornitz. Arrival is at 22.49 and departure at 05.33 next morning.

n Folia Industries has developed interior and exterior-grade graphic panels suitable for mass transit applications including signage, murals, maps and benches. Digitally printed or silk screened images are fused with phenolic and melamine resins to produce a surface that is resistant to graffiti, burns, solvents and scratching.

n Kawasaki Rail Car Inc has awarded Telecite a US$2m contract to supply its Visual Communication Network passenger information system including LED in-car displays for 212 R143 metro vehicles under construction for MTA New York City Transit.