A major restructuring of Hungarian State Railways is expected to be announced this month, nearly a year after a new management team was appointed.

Look for construction work to begin this year on the Guangzhou - Foshan line in southern China; it is due to open by 2007.

A Thai consortium has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippines government to provide a US$200m credit towards the first 100 km section of the planned 2000 km Mindanao rail network linking Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Tagaloan.

The Director-General of Iranian Islamic Republic Railways, Mohammed Saeed-Nejad, has confirmed that RAI is studying plans for a cross-border rail link between Khorramshahr and the Iraqi city of Basra.

The governments of Argentina and Chile have agreed to establish a joint commission to consider legal, technical and financial aspects of re-opening the Los Andes - Mendoza trans-Andean route (RG 12.02 p726). ’We hope to be able to announce the start of tendering before the end of the year’, said Diego Grau, Minister of the Environment & Public Works for the Argentinian province of Mendoza.

Bangkok Governor Samak Sundaravej has backed plans for an 82·5 km circular metro around the Thai capital, which would mostly run on viaduct above existing roads. Construction could start in mid 2005.

The government of Nigeria has approved plans for a 19 km rail link from Elelenwa, near Port Harcourt, to serve the Oil & Gas Free Zone at Onne. The line is to be built by Julius Berger Nigeria plc.

Malaysian Transport Minister Dr Ling Liong Sik has invited China Railway Engineering Co to bid for double-tracking and electrification of 297 km of KTM’s main line between Seremban and Johor Bahru. Ircon has been selected to upgrade the 339 km from Ipoh to the Thai border at Padang Besar.

Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Ports, Harbours & Railways Dr Gheysika Adombirie Agambila said last month that the government expected to award a concession to operate Ghana Railways Corp early in 2004; Spoornet International has expressed interest in the western lines carrying bauxite and manganese ore to Takoradi for export.