n Look for Spanish high speed construction authority GIF to award the civil works contract for the Soto del Real - Segovia section of the Madrid - Valladolid route after the general election on March 12. Four consortia have submitted bids ranging from Pts149·8bn to Pts180bn for GIF’s largest single contract to date, which includes the boring of two tunnels each over 20 km in length.

n German Federal Transport Minister Richard Klimmt has proposed that DB’s Rhein valley line between Karlsruhe and Basel should be quadrupled between 2004 and 2012 to handle additional traffic to and from the AlpTransit base tunnels in Switzerland.

n Look for French Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot to introduce a bill to the National Assembly, paving the way for further regionalisation of local rail services from January 1 2001 and complete transfer of control to the regions from January 1 2002.

n Officials from Romania and Ukraine have started discussions about re-opening the cross-border rail link from Valea Viseului to Tisa Teresva via Sighetul Marmatiel, which was closed in 1994. Romanian Transport Minister Traian Basescu wants the project to be funded by the private sector.

n Canadian mining group Falconbridge is proposing a 350 km rail link in C