Bosnia: The OPEC Fund for International Development has signed a US$12m loan agreement with Bhzjk to upgrade the 40 km Sarajevo - Bradina section of the Sarajevo - Ploce line.

China: Following the suspension of work during winter, construction has restarted on a 1·2bn yuan rail-served logistics and distribution centre at Naqu, 300 km north of Lhasa.

Croatia: The Sunja - Novska line has been re-electrified to permit its use as a diversionary route during a major upgrade of the Dugo Selo - Novska section of the Zagreb - Beograd main line planned for later this year. Work to reinstate war-damaged equipment began last December, and it went live on April 17.

Czech Republic: This month SZDC begins electrification of the 13 km line between Zábreh nad Morave and Sumperk. Work will be completed by November 2009 with EU funds meeting two-thirds of the KC1·5bn cost.

Estonia: During May the VR-Rata subsidiary of Finland's national railway began work on a €5m contract to upgrade the 66 km route between Tartu and the Latvian border near Valga.

Europe: On April 21 the Mayor of L'viv and representatives of the cities of Krakow and Wroclaw signed an agreement to construct a standard gauge line from Przemysl in Poland to L'viv. EU funding will be sought for 75% of the projected €400m cost.

France: Shortlisted bidders to install GSM-R on 12 000 route-km of the RFF network are the TDF group of Vinci Energies, Vinci Concessions, SFR and AXA Investment Managers Paris; the Eiffage grouping of Eiffage and France Telecom; a group led by Alcatel-Lucent and including Caisse des Dépots et Consignations and Macquarie Capital; and ETDE, comprising Bouygues Telecom, Sogetrel, SNEF, Barclays European Infrastructure and Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

Germany: Work has begun to replace the 130-year old bridge across the River Danube between Plattling and Deggendorf, for completion by 2010.

Romania: Bilfinger Berger and Franz Kassecker have been awarded a €69m contract by CFR to upgrade 41 bridges on the Câmpina - Predeal section of the line from Bucuresti to Brasov.

South Africa: R&H Railway Consultants is building a 9·4 km electrified rail connection to the Goedgevonden coal mine in Mpumalanga province. Transnet Freight Rail will take over ownership of the line on completion.

Spain: The Ministry of Development has awarded four contracts worth a total of €3·15m to design the alignment of a 53·5 km high speed line from Plasencia de Jalón on the Madrid - Barcelona route to Tudela. It will form part of a high speed freight and passenger corridor between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.

A new alignment 4·3 km in length was brought into use between Ordes and Queixas on the Vigo - A Coruña route in Spain (RG 5.08 p271) on April 22, designed for future electrification and conversion to 1 435 mm gauge. Tenders have been called for the first electrification work on this route, between Padrón and A Coruña.

Switzerland: The SFr1·7bn railway systems contract for the Gotthard base tunnel was signed in Luzern on April 29 by AlpTransit Gotthard and the Trans-tec Gotthard consortium of Atel Installationstechnik, Alcatel-Lucent, Thales Rail Signalling Solutions, Alpine-Bau and Balfour Beatty Rail. Pöyry will provide management support in a €10m contract.

UK: Network Rail has begun consultation for the £40m construction of a 1·6 km north chord at Nuneaton, allowing freight from Felixstowe to join the northbound West Coast Main Line after crossing it on a flyover. Work could start in 2009 for opening in December 2010.

Passenger trains to Alloa and coal trains for Longannet power station began using the reopened 21 km Stirling - ?Alloa - Kincardine line in central Scotland from May 19. Reopening allows coal trains to be routed away from the Forth Bridge.

USA: The state of Pennsylvania is providing five grants totalling $5m to support rail freight infrastructure, including $0·5m for bridge repairs enabling steel traffic to switch from road to the Luzerne & Susquehanna Railroad.

New Jersey Transit has awarded George Harms Construction a $58·4m contract for a 1·6 km extension of the Hudson-Bergen light rail line from 22nd Street to 8th Street.

The Surface Transportation Board has begun consultation on the 483 km Caliente Line, which is proposed to link Union Pacific tracks at Caliente to a planned high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

The Port of Seattle has paid $107m to acquire a 67 km BNSF route between Renton and Snohomish in Washington state, protecting the corridor for future freight and commuter use.