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Swiss, French, Italian, Austrian and German transport ministers are to form working groups to look at ways of improving safety in busy trans-Alpine tunnels.

The Hong Kong government has published an update on the proposed merger between its KCRC and MTR rail corporations. The merger was announced in February and working groups have been examining the implications in areas such as interchanges and fare structures. The merger study is due for completion in August.

Venezuela is accelerating investment in mass transport schemes, infrastructure minister Ramon Carrizalez has said. Projects such as the expansion of Caracas metro and the Valle de Tuy and La Encrucijada railways are benefiting from annual spending of more than $1.5bn.

The European Union has published a series of a regulations and directives paving the way for greater rail integration in Europe. The proposals include establishment of a European Railway Agency to develop common safety standards as well as a system for monitoring safety performance.

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