• BNSF Railway is studying locations for a plant which would produce liquid diesel-replacement fuel from coal, using a version of the Fischer-Tropsch process which has been developed by Tenaska Inc. BNSF's 6 300 locos consumed 5·3bn litres of diesel in 2005, and a spokesman said the economic and technical feasibility of the coal-to-diesel process is still being evaluated.
  • Komi Aluminium has announced plans to invest US$87m during 2007-08 in the construction of a railway to serve a bauxite complex planned for Kerki in the Komi republic in northwest Russia.
  • On January 8 the board of Atlanta transport authority Marta voted to adopt rail-based technology rather than a busway for the proposed Beltline project, which will use assorted active and disused railway rights-of-way forming a teardrop-shaped loop around central Atlanta.
  • Last month Pakistan and China held bilateral talks to discuss a study which is underway into the feasibility of constructing a railway parallel to the Karakoram Highway from Havelian into China.
  • Sri Lanka's Ministry of New Railroad Development has announced plans to construct four lines by 2014. The routes proposed under the Rs95·3bn plan are Matara - Kataragama (113 km), Padukka - Hambantota - Ratnapura (210 km), Kurunegala - Dambulla - Habarana (80 km) and Panadura - Horana (18 km).
  • The Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resopurces has asked Bangladesh Railway to prepare a feasibility study for the construction of a 20 km rail link between Ullapara and Baghabari. This would enable Bangladesh Petroleum Corp to transport fuel oils by rail, avoiding the need for tankers to negotiate shoals in the River Jamuna which can be impassible in winter.
  • The Andalucia regional government has agreed to provide €26·6m towards construction of the first section of the light rail network in Granada (RG 8.06 p433), a 3·4 km route with five stops from Albolote to Maracena. Work was expected to begin shortly after contract signature with the building consortium of Aldesa, Coalvi, El Partal and Vialobra.
  • In Argentina the Catamarca provincial government has commissioned Ircon International of India to examine the feasibility of building a railway between Andalgalá and the ports of Barquitos and Caldera in Chile, crossing the Andes via the San Francisco pass.
  • Swiss consultancy Pöyry has won a contract to study the feasibility of a 25 km 'rapid, high-capacity rail-bound' transit system in Quito, which would cross the historic centre of the Ecuadorian capital in tunnel and on viaduct.