Swiss Federal Railways is to build a new Customer Contact Centre at Brig to merge the operations of 10 local offices spread across the country. Around 60 staff dealing with telephone enquiries and ticket renewals will transfer this year, increasing to 250 by the completion of the project in 2005.

New Jersey Transit is to spend US$2·35m on refurbishing the listed station building at Madison, on the ex-Lackawanna Morris & Erie route; the Collegiate Gothic structure was designed by William Hull Botsford.

British operator Midland Main Line is to start a six-month trial on London - Sheffield - Leeds trains of an on-train local area network using Bluetooth technology to download news and information to passengers’ laptop computers and mobile phones.

The Swiss Federal Railways board agreed on December 15 to buy back the station building at Luzern, which has been owned since rebuilding in 1983 by a property development consortium, Bahnhof Luzern Immobilien AG. SBB already holds 11·1% of BLI, with 55·6% owned by UBS and 33·3% by Bahnhofbetriebe Holding AG.

Docklands Light Railway concessionaire Serco Docklands has installed video screens in four trainsets to provide travel news, weather information and advertising, downloaded to the trains via an optic fibre link.

Roma metro and tram operator ATAC officially launched its new smart card ticketing system on December 19. Being operated by the ERG-Motorola Alliance under a nine-year contract awarded in June 1999, the project covers all ATAC services in Roma and Lazio; more than one million cards are expected to be in service for monthly and annual passes by the end of this year. Paper tickets will be used for single journeys and short-term tickets.

Netherlands Railways has leased a batch of 24 ex-Eurocity coaches from German Railway with effect from December 18 until the end of June. They will help to alleviate a current shortfall of 200 vehicles until 150 refurbished ex-DB coaches start to enter service.

From this month, NS Reizigers is offering a 50% refund of the single ticket price for passengers on any train delayed more than 30 min, including season ticket holders. An hour’s delay will qualify for a complete refund of the single fare.