Finland: As part of its third supplementary budget, the government has proposed spending €268m on new projects, including electrifying the 22.5km Laurila – Tornio – Haparanda line. It also plans to spend €33.5m on improving the Kouvola – Kotka/Hamina line.

Norway: Tunnelling contractors have broken through on the 1.1km Gråmunkt tunnel, which is due to open in 2025 as part of a new double-track railway from Nykirke – Barkåker on the Vestfold line. Work began in August 2020, with the breakthrough completed on July 2. The project is currently on schedule with work turning to the construction of two more tunnels and tracklaying.

The breakthrough site for the Gråmunkt tunnel. Bane NOR.

Canada: Canadian National (CN) plans to invest approximately $C 445m in Alberta this year as part of CN’s $C 3bn capital investment plan across its network. In Alberta this will focus on replacing 102km of track, rebuilding 38 road crossing surfaces, installing 182,000 new sleepers, and undertaking maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

Austria: Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) has announced a project to double track the 50km Pottendorf line between Vienna Meidling and Vienna Neustadt by the end of 2023. It is also planning to build a new line will be built between Neufeld and Pottendorf from 2024. The first project is seen as an important measure to expand capacity on the southern route in Vienna. The latter creates the opportunity to commute from Burgenland to Vienna without having to change trains. Completion is planned for 2029.

Spain: A budget of €14m has been made available by infrastructure manager Adif for the tender for the first phase of improvements to the Huesca - Canfranc line. The project involves renewing 20.7km of track and once complete will offer journey time improvements. The contract requires 82,200 tonnes of ballast, the supply and transportation of 10,800 monobloc sleepers and the design, manufacture, testing and installation of switches.

Britain: Infrastructure manager Network Rail has purchased Okehampton station and the Dartmoor Line from Coleford Junction ahead of its reopening to passengers this December. The 26km railway, which closed in 1973, will be used by Great Western Railway trains to nearby Exeter.

Britain: A £45m resignalling scheme will upgrade 56 signals between Prestbury, Macclesfield and Congleton in northwest England over a 17-month period. Once replaced the 56 signals will be controlled from NR’s control centre in Manchester. Work begins this month.