Ms Mamata Banerjee has been appointed Minister of Railways in the new Indian government, with Digvijay Singh named as Minister of State for Railways.

Gerard Gibot, Director of European Affairs at French National Railways, has been appointed Director of the President’s Cabinet in succession to Eric Beaudonnet who has taken charge of developing SNCF’s relationship with Via GTI (RG 12.99 p754).

São Paulo Metro Operations Manager Decio Tambelli has been named as Director of Operations in succession to Paulo Celso M Moreira da Silva.

William E Loftus, former President of the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association, has joined RailAmerica as Senior Transportation Advisor.

Director of NS Property Hans Portheine has been appointed to the NS Board.

Britain’s Association of Train Operating Companies has appointed Elizabeth Haywood as Director of Public Communications.

Urban transport consultant George Krambles, who retired as Executive Director of Chicago Transit Authority in 1980, has died aged 84.

John R Byles has been appointed as Director - European Operations for Pandrol Ltd, not as reported last month. He reports to John Beal-Preston who remains Chief Operating Officer of Pandrol Ltd. Mr Byles retains his position as Managing Director of Vortok International, a Pandrol subsidiary, but day-to-day management will be assumed by Peter Shrubsall who has been appointed Director & General Manager.

Formerly with Conrail, Ralph von dem Hagen has been named as special assistant to Amtrak Intercity President Lee Bullock, with responsibility for relations with Intercity’s commercial partners.

Steven Marshall has joined Railtrack Group plc as Finance Director, in succession to Norman Broadhurst who remains an Executive Director until his retirement later this year.

Jim Gates has been appointed Managing Director of Docklands Railway Management Ltd. Latterly Passenger Services Director, he succeeds Malcolm Hutchinson who retired last year.

Braam Le Roux is to step down as Chief Executive Officer of South Africa’s Spoornet.

Managing Director of Mälardalstrafik AB Magnus Persson has joined Swedish State Railways as Director of Political Affairs & EU/International Relations.

With the merger of Westinghouse Air Brake Company and MotivePower Industries as Wabtec (p55), William E Kassling heads the new management team as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. Other members are Gregory T H Davies, President & Chief Operating Officer; Robert J Brooks, Chief Financial Officer; Howard J Bromberg, Executive Vice President, Molded Products; Joseph S Crawford Jr, Executive Vice President, Railroad Group; and John M Meister, Executive Vice President, Transit Group.

Julio Fontana Neto has been named Chief Executive Officer of Brazil’s MRS Railway, succeeding Mauro Knudsen.