Steaming back

WITH a national electricity shortage following the run-down of the Chernobyl nuclear plant and soaring prices for imported oil, Ukrainian Railways has resorted to traditional motive power for trains in the Dniepropetrovsk coalfield and around Lviv in the west of the country. Hungarian-built steam locos mothballed in the 1960s as part of the former Soviet Railways’ strategic reserve have been overhauled and returned to traffic.

n Britain’s Health & Safety Executive is prosecuting Butlins Ltd, operator of Somerwest World holiday theme park in Minehead, following a collision between two monorail trains on August 8 last year which injured several passengers.

n Australian businessmen launched plans last month to build a 4000 km express railway from Melbourne to Darwin via northwest New South Wales and Queensland by 2003, at a cost of A$10bn. 250 km/h perishable freight trains and a high-speed catamaran to Singapore would offer a three-day journey from Melbourne to southeast Asia.