Plans to build an electrified heavy-haul railway across Namibia were announced by Falcon Resource Holdings in November. CEO Mike Gaomab said consultants had been appointed to undertake economic and environmental impact studies. The 1600 km Trans-Kalahari railway would link Morupule colliery in northeast Botswana with a new port at Shearwater Bay, 30 km south of Luderitz.

Cedar American Rail Holdings is planning to seek up to $2·5bn in federal funding from the Safetea-LU programme to support the proposed 420 km extension of its Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad to the Powder River coalfield and upgrade existing lines operated by DME and IC&E.

The state of New Mexico has reached a tentative agreement with BNSF for the purchase of 480 route-km between Belen and Trinidad to permit expansion of Albuquerque’s commuter network. Rail Runner Express is due to start between Albuquerque and Bernalillo this month, reaching Los Lunas and Belen in March.

Bremer Stra§enbahn subsidiary Consult Team Bremen has been commissioned to develop proposals for a light rail network in the Indian city of Pune. The city hopes to lay the foundation stone for an initial Nigdi - Hadapsar route in February.

Meeting in Bangkok at the beginning of December, Unescap endorsed proposals for the Trans-Asian Railway Network (RG 11.05 p728). The project will now go to the 62nd Unescap session in Indonesia in April for formal adoption, followed by a signing ceremony in November.

A report presented to the Amsterdam council in November recommends the introduction of freight trams to serve strategic distribution points and reduce lorry traffic in the city, based on the successful CargoTram in Dresden.

Transfesa has become the first private company to be granted permission by the Spanish Ministry of Development to request train paths from infrastructure authority ADIF. Other prospective open-access freight operators include Detren, Continental Rail and Comsa.