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In the papers today - Wednesday 4 April

An art gallery with a geothermal heating and cooling system designed to cut its carbon emissions by up to half has been shortlisted for the prestigious £100,000 Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries.
The new £8.6m extension to the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, is only the second place in Britain, after Keble College, Oxford, to install the system, which is commonplace on the Continent. The modern British art it houses requires careful temperature control - The IndependentA double-decker French train smashed the world speed record for railways yesterday, touching 574.8kph - or 357mph - on a gently downhill stretch of track in eastern France. The five-car experimental train fell only just short of the speed record for all forms of train travel - 581kph - held by a Japanese magnetic levitation (Maglev) train - The IndependentNetwork Rail is to spend £2.4bn over the next two years expanding Britain's railways - the biggest outlay since privatisation - to ease overcrowding. Hundreds of platforms will be extended and new ones built, new track laid, speed limits raised and capacity added through signalling schemes, John Armitt, Network Rail chief executive, said yesterday - The GuardianBritain has allowed itself to be left behind in the race to build high-speed rail lines across Europe and will only catch up if it invests for the long term, the head of French state railways Guillaume Pepy said yesterday - The TimesHigher demand for solar energy, triggered by concerns about global warming, will drive a fourfold increase in the annual revenues of the global solar equipment industry from $20bn last year to $90bn in 2010, according to projections published today. Profit growth is expected to accelerate even faster, as costs are contained, pushing margins up to nearly 60% - Financial TimesIn the end the 'nail house' of Chongqing, so called because its proud owners refused to be hammered down by Chinese developers, went less with a bang and more of a whimper. The isolated dwelling, perched on an island of earth surrounded by a moat at least 10m deep, had become a symbol of defiance in the face of the country's breakneck modernisation, while the couple who lived there gained folk-hero status in China for refusing to make way for a planned shopping centre - The IndependentNew buildings are springing up in London and the South East at the fastest rate for more than a decade thanks largely to boom times in the City, according to a new survey. A report published yesterday by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows that the number of London land surveyors reporting rising construction workloads outnumbered those reporting declines by 36 percentage points in the first three months of this year, the largest balance since the survey began in 1994 - The Independent

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