France: The Ile-de-France transport authority has voted in favour of extending Paris metro Line 12 from Porte de la Chapelle to Mairie d'Aubervilliers. The 3·8 km route would have intermediate stations at Proudhon-Gardinoux and Pont-de-Stains.
Hungary: Budapest city council has approved an HF5·2bn programme to modernise the city's public transport network. Metro, tram and suburban railway infrastructure will be renovated, escalators updated, and rolling stock improved.
Japan: On February 22 JR East completed the purchase of a 70% stake in Tokyo Monorail, which links Haneda airport with Hamamatsucho in the city centre. Improved road access and competition from Keihin Kyuko Electric Railway's branch to Haneda that opened in 1998 led to Tokyo Monorail losing traffic, but JR East plans to reverse the decline by offering sales promotions with its main line services.
Spain: Work is due to begin next year on Valencia metro Line T2, expected to cost a total of €212m. The line will run underground through the historic core of the city, with a station at Mercado Central at a depth of 23m below street level.
United Kingdom: Transport Secretary Stephen Byers granted a Transport & Works Order on March 19 for construction of a 4·4 km branch of the Docklands Light Railway from Canning Town to North Woolwich. Expected to open in 2005, the £115m route will have stations at West Silvertown, Pontoon Dock, London City Airport and King George V; a fifth is proposed at Thames Wharf.
USA: DART has begun trial running on the Dallas Red line light rail extension to Richardson. Revenue service to the seven stations is scheduled to begin on July 1.
Denver RTD expects to open its 2·9 km Central Platte Valley light rail spur to Union Station on April 5.
The first 10-car train of Kawasaki-built R143 cars entered service on February 19 on MTA New York City Transit's L-Carnarsie line. Wired for Transmission-Based Train Control (RG 2.02 p83), they are the first of 212 cars being built at Yonkers at a cost of $356m.
Atlanta metro operator Marta has awarded a $41m contract to Union Switch & Signal Inc for Microlok II control, signalling and track circuits to be installed at the Amour and Avondale yards. Regional Transit Partners has been selected as general engineering consultants, and URS Corp is to provide planning and engineering services to Marta for future development under an $11m five-year agreement.