France: SNCF began modernisation work on the 75km Besançon - Swiss border Watchmakers line on March 1. The work, which is budgeted at €55.5m, will continue until October 31, and will consist of reinforcing works, the renewal of 35km of track, improvements to Morteau and Valdahon stations and the modernisation of signage. Traffic on the line will be suspended while work is being carried out. 

Italy: Italian State Railways (FS) subsidiary Italferr has concluded field analysis for the construction of the planned 14km Trento railway bypass, which included the coring of soil samples to a depth of 230m from ground level. A series of lab tests will follow to verify the project’s forecasts before work can proceed to the drafting of the technical-economic feasibility project in a few months. The Trento bypass is Lot 3 of the Brenner Corridor's southern access route, itself part of the Berlin - Palermo rail axis.

Spain: Infrastructure manager Adif has put out tenders for five contracts worth a combined €52m to execute improvements on the Ourense - Monforte de Lemos Lugo line. Four of the contracts cover the reconstruction of infrastructure elements including bridges, tunnels, drainage and earthworks, and the remaining contract covers regauging of overpasses to accommodate for the planned implementation of electrification on the route.

Poland: A consortium of Systra and project consulting firm BPK Mosty has won a contract to execute modernisation works on part of Poland’s C-E30 line, a section of the E-30 Third Pan-European railway corridor linking Poland, Germany and the Ukraine. The work includes design documentation, construction design and tender materials. Gliwice Łabędy station will also be modernised. Completion is scheduled for the middle of 2023. 

Ukraine: Ukrainian Railways (UZ) has announced plans to carry out reconstruction work on 316km of line, and overhauls on another 82km of line. This will be a substantial increase in work compared with track work carried out in 2020, where only 112.6km of line was reconstructed and 48.1km was overhauled. Work will primarily be carried out in high traffic areas, including the Darnytsia - Hrebinka, Kyiv - Fastiv - Zhmerynka - Vapnyarka - Odessa, Znamyanka - Odessa, Myronivka - Pyatihatky - Chaplyne, Kozyatyn - Shepetivka - Zdolbuniv, Kryvyi Rih Rig-Holovny - Komysh-Zorya - Volnovakha - Mariupol, and Lviv - Stryy - Chop lines. The work is part of UZ’s wider Hryvnia 27bn ($US 966.6m) network renovation plan for 2021. 

UZ's planned track work for 2021 will cover approximately 12% of the total 3162km network.

Germany: The state of Rhineland-Palatinate, German Rail (DB) and regional transport associations SPNV-Nord and ZSPNV-Süd have agreed a €587m package of comprehensive modernisations of more than 130 stations in the region. The funds will be spent gradually until 2031. Once all planned construction projects have been implemented, around 87% of all stations in Rhineland-Palatinate will be modernised, and all stations with more than 1000 passengers per day will be accessible without steps.  

Laos: China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) has completed tracklaying for the Vientiane and Luang Prabang section of the China-Laos Railway, with the view to completing tracklaying for the entire line by May 2021, and to begin operation in December. Tracklaying began in March 2020, with 240km of line completed as of January 2021. This equates to approximately 57% of the total 422km length of the Laos section of the railway. 

Spain: The government has approved a tender for a contract worth €42.6m to install overhead contact line on the Zaragoz - Teruel line as part of the electrification of the Zaragoza - Sagunto electrification project. The work should take 24 months. The contact line will be suitable for a 2x25kV ac supply, and accommodate maximum speeds of 200 km/h.