Rio Tinto subsidiary Hamersley Iron has almost completed a feasibility study to determine whether its mines, railway and port at Dampier can be upgraded to produce 114 million tonnes of ore a year. Robe River Iron Associates, also owned by Rio Tinto, now expects the West Angelas mine opened last year to reach its full annual output of 20 million tonnes two years early in the first half of 2004 (RG 9.03 p538).

Canadian Federal Transport Minister David Collenette is ’hoping for a decision very soon’ on whether the government is to go ahead with development of a C$3bn 200 km/h line from the city of Québec to Windsor, to be operated by VIA Rail and possibly using Bombardier’s JetTrain technology.

Malaysia has announced plans to supply rails and equipment worth 30·4m ringgit to Cambodia for the construction of a 48 km link between the Royal Cambodian Railways network at Sisophon and Poipet on the border with Thailand. China and Thailand will provide technical assistance.

Watch for the release of an environmental impact study recommending the construction of a cross-harbour rail tunnel between New Jersey and Brooklyn.

Iarnród éireann has presented Ireland’s Department of Transport with an investment plan which would total €3·5bn by 2013. Plans for capacity improvements include additional services in the Dublin area.

An operating company is expected to be formed by the end of this year for the Delta 3 freight terminal under construction at Dourges in northern France. Intermodal operators CNC, Novatrans and Transfesa are expected to participate, as are the port authorities of Dunkerque and Lille, which is investing €15m to expand its own intermodal terminal to 13·5ha by March 2005.

The government of Uruguay is proposing to let before the end of the year a concession to upgrade the main line from Montevideo to Rivera on the Brazilian border. The concessionaire would recoup its investment through access charges, and it is reported that potential bidders have been meeting with the Ministry of Transport & Public Works that currently administers railway infrastructure (RG 2.03 p64).