Vermont Agency of Transportation has backed proposals for a fast passenger service between Boston and Montréal. Track upgrading for 177 km/h would allow a journey time of under 6h for the 523 km trip, with annual ridership put at 648000.
According to Vietnam Railways' Director-General Dr Nguyen Huu Bang, DSVN will start work in 2005 on restoring the Ho Chi Minh City - Loc Ninh line as part of the Asean rail corridor, at an estimated cost of 800bn dong. DSVN has signed a memorandum of understanding with Royal Cambodian Railways to assist with feasibility studies for the planned link between Loc Ninh and Phnom Penh.
Due to open in 2005, the Central Japan International Airport now taking shape on an offshore reclamation 35 km from Nagoya is to be served by an extension of Nagoya Railway's Tokoname line. A limited express service will connect the airport to Shin-Nagoya in less than 30min.
Look for construction work to start in January on a 50 km commuter rail line between Nashville and Lebanon, using the Nashville & Eastern Railroad. Tennessee Department of Transportation has been awarded a federal grant to cover one-third of the $37·6m cost, and the Regional Transportation Authority has acquired a batch of gallery cars from Metra of Chicago; services are expected to begin in 2005.
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Uzbek President Islam Karimov held talks in September over construction of a 68 km railway from the Friendship Bridge across the Amudarya river at Hayratan to the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
Atkins Rail has been appointed to study the feasibility of the Airtrack proposals for a rail link between Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport and Network Rail's Southern Region.
At the request of the President, Brazil's transport ministry is reviewing the scope for reinstating passenger services on the country's rail network. A private consortium has revived proposals for a high speed line between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, costed at 12bn reais; trains would cover the 429 km in 2 h 30 min.