On May 12 the Finnish national steel company Rautaruukki announced that it had signed a pre-contract for the sale of its Transtech rolling stock business to Patentes Talgo of Spain. The deal is still subject to final approval by the boards of the two companies.

Transtech was formed to build freight wagons for the Russian market, and has been relatively successful in western Europe. It is supplying double-deck inter-city coaches to Finnish Railways (p393) and assembling Sr2 electric locos for VR under contract to Adtranz. With 50 staff, Transtech had a turnover of 65m euros in 1998. At the end of last year it had an order book valued at 150m euros.