Chinese Railways announced on September 4 that it was putting into service luxury trainsets on the premier Beijing - Shanghai trains 21/22 by the end of the month, offering eight hard and four soft class sleepers. The soft class cars will have televisions in each compartment, plus toilets, showers and laptop sockets. The old stock will move to a new service designated train 109/110.

WebPoint has installed the first of 30 coin-operated kiosks, offering timed 500kB/s internet access at 14 Railtrack-operated stations, and has won a contract from SBB to install similar kiosks at major stations in Switzerland.

London’s Docklands Light Railway is to fit 210 new and replacement CCTV cameras on and around its stations, at a cost of £2·7m.

Swiss Federal Railways approved a SFr340m financing package in August to fund the first phase of a programme to refurbish 620 regional stations by 2005.

Railtrack and First Great Western have started a £400000 project to improve customer facilities and security at Reading station.

CAPTION: Last month British operator First Great Western and Railtrack formally inaugurated a new station building at Bristol Parkway, following the construction of a new bus and taxi interchange area. The £2m design-and build-contract for the main building was completed by Birse Rail on July 1

CAPTION: Ascom has received approval for use in Britain of a slimline ticket gate following trials at Canterbury East station. Intended to increase passenger throughput in confined locations, it can be configured to open in either direction for ’first-come-first-served’ operation, using infra-red detectors. The gate can operate with magnetic stripe or contactless smartcard ticket readers. An extra-wide variant is available, offering a clear passage of 900mm