Madrid Metro has unveiled the first of 36 Series 9000 trainsets that are to be introduced on Line 6 by 2011, part of an order for 52 units placed with AnsaldoBreda for €450m. The upgrade of Line 6 has included the construction of new traction substations and a new station at Arganzuela-Planetario. Tunnel lighting and ventilation systems will now be modernised at a total cost of €12·7m.

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County has appointed Parsons Transportation Group as lead contractor for a design-build-operate-maintain project for four planned light rail lines around Houston. Parsons replaces Washington Group International as MTA's partner following a review of the programme's projected costs.

Alstom has signed an agreement with the Bouregreg Valley Development Agency to supply an initial batch of 22 Citadis trams for the 19 km two-route Rabat light rail network, which is scheduled to open in 2010. The €90m contract includes the supply of spares and fleet maintenance for five years. Colas has also been awarded a €70m contract for tracklaying and other civils work.

The Tramivur light rail demonstrator route in the Spanish city of Murcia (RG 7.07 p412) has carried over 1 million passengers in its first year of operations, with free travel attracting an average of 4 200 passengers/day. Serving four stops between Plaza Circular and Estadio Nueva Condomina, the 2·1 km route is planned to form part of Line 1 of a future four-line network.

Thales is to equip Metronet's Neasden maintenance depot in London with its LockTrac 6172 modular interlocking system under a contract worth £10·4m.

Station construction at Coon Rapids began with a ground-breaking ceremony on April 23. Work on the other stations that will be served by the 65 km Northstar commuter rail service to Minneapolis-St Paul was expected to follow shortly afterwards, with the first trains expected in late 2009 (RG 10.07 p601).

A consortium of Hatch Mott MacDonald, Delcan and MMM Group has been awarded a seven-year project management contract for the planned Spadina metro extension in Toronto. The Toronto Transit Commission hopes the 8·6 km line from Downsview station to York University and Vaughan will be completed by 2015.

A public consultation process was due to start on June 2 ahead of a decision by the Greater Dijon authority on whether to build a busway or light rail network in the city. Two corridors of 19 km have been identified as suitable for transport running on reserved alignment. The local authority will choose its preferred option on September 15.

The board of directors of the Los Angeles MTA has approved a proposal to establish a public-private partnership to fund 23 transport projects, including an extension to the Purple Line from Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue to Santa Monica. A feasibility study into the extension is already underway.

As part of the project to extend Madrid suburban route C5 from Humanes to Illescas, the Spanish Ministry of Development has begun public consultation on a €112·1m package of works to place 3·76 km of the route through Illescas in tunnel. Two stations would be built on the new underground alignment.

An east-west tram tunnel opened in Dortmund on April 28, linking Unionstrasse and Ostentor. Designed to permit low-floor cars to pass beneath the city centre, the link has three intermediate stations and is served by lines U43 and U44, which replace surface tram routes 403 and 404.

On May 9 Mumbai Metro One awarded China South a contract to supply 22 three-car trainsets for the 11 km metro line which is under construction in the Indian city. Deliveries of the 25 kV stainless steel trainsets will begin within 18 months.

A tender has been called for the supply of eight light metro cars for Izmir. The invitation specifies that the trainsets must have a minimum of three cars, feature IGBT or IGCT drives and three-phase asynchronous motors, with a maximum speed of at least 80 km/h. A 5·2 km extension to the existing light metro line is currently under construction.

The Spanish Ministry of Development has begun public consultation on a €59m scheme to build a new suburban station at Sagrera-Meridiana in Barcelona. Platforms would be located between metro lines 1 and 5, and will also provide interchange with Line 9 currently under construction and an extension of Line 4 to Sagrera.

The federal government of Pakistan announced plans on May 1 to revive the Karachi Circular Railway project. The Ministry of Railways said that the project would be implemented with the assistance of the Japanese government, which has agreed to provide a soft loan of US$872m. The 50 km mass transit route would serve 23 stations and completion is forecast in 2011.