n Transport Minister Edward Salia has announced plans to privatise Ghana Railways Corp during the course of this year. A key element of the proposals will be to improve the 200 km rail haul between bauxite mines in the west and the port of Takoradi.
n Namibia and South Africa have set up a joint task force to look at ways of improving rail services between the two countries. Increased transit traffic via Luderitz and Walvisbaai may see TransNamib taking over operation of Spoornet’s Ariamsvlei - De Aar line.
n Newly-elected President of Argentina Fernando de la Rúa has proposed railway construction schemes totalling US$4bn as part of a US$11bn public works programme aimed at creating 200000 new jobs.
n The US state of Georgia has started negotiations with CSX and Norfolk Southern for track access to launch commuter rail services from Atlanta to Macon and Athens. The state’s transportation board envisages developing six commuter routes and a state-wide inter-city network over the next decade at a cost of $1·5bn.
n German Railway’s local passenger subsidiary DB Regio AG is planning to spend DM7bn over five years to overcome an investment backlog; all regional trains would be replaced or refurbished by 2004.
n Look for Nepal and India to announce plans for the construction of a new cross-border rail link.
n The Swiss canton of Valais and the Italian region of Aosta have signed an agreement to revive proposals for construction of a rail tunnel under the Great St Bernard pass, last discussed in 1990.
n Three consultants were due to be shortlisted last month for a feasibility study into the proposed Australian Transport & Energy Corridor inland rail route between Melbourne and Brisbane.
n Look for DSB Gods to announce the closure or sale of its loss-making sundries business, as part of a strategic plan to bring the freight business into profit by 2002. Up to 900 jobs could go in the division, which lost DKr150m last year on a turnover of DKr500m.
n Wiener Verkehsrsbetriebe is to inaugurate revenue services on its 3 km U-Bahn Line U3 extension from Erdberg to Simmering at 10.00 on December 3 2000. Test running on the extension began on December 3 1999.
n Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels is looking at the scope for harnessing private sector finance by offering Cairo metro Line 3 as a BOT concession.
n Look for the Turkish State Planning Organisation to authorise the calling of tenders for the Kizilay - Cayyolu and Batikent - Sincan - Fatih metro extensions in Ankara, and for extension of the Ankaray light rail line from Dikimevi to Siteler (MR99 p28).