TRANSPORT BRIEFS

TRANSPORT BRIEFS

HOUSE PANEL APPROVES

HIGHWAY, AIRPORT CUTS

WASHINGTON - The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a $2.5 billion budget reduction measure, including elimination of nearly $86 million in highway projects and over $488 million in old, unobligated funds amassed in the airport improvement program.

The House's budget measure is some $600 million above the package of budget cuts suggested by President Clinton, but the White House plan had proposed almost $188 million in highway project cuts aimed at projects that have not proceeded to construction.

The appropriations panel trimmed that list.

The committee also cut $97 million from unobligated Army Corps of Engineer

balances for general construction on flood control and harbor projects, and $7 million in funds given the Coast Guard for expenses related to hurricanes Andrew and Iniki.

CHINA SIGNS UP TO BUY

6 JETS FROM AIRBUS

HONG KONG - A German trade delegation signed agreements Tuesday for China to buy six A340 aircraft from Airbus Industrie for around US$470 million, officials said.

Airbus comprises the Deutsche Airbus unit of Daimler-Benz AG, Aerospatiale of France, British Aerospace PLC and Construcciones Aeronauticas SA of Spain.

It's understood the engines will be supplied by General Electric Co. through its Snecma joint venture in France.

China Eastern Airlines said earlier this year it intended to buy five A340s between now and 1997. It wasn't immediately clear if the deal announced Tuesday includes those.

RAILCAR ORDERS UP,

DELIVERIES STABLE

WASHINGTON - Orders for new railroad cars increased in the third quarter of 1993, compared with the same quarter of last year, but orders were cut nearly in half from the second quarter of this year, the Association of American Railroads reported.

Deliveries have stayed stable, ranging from 7,509 in the third quarter of 1992 to 8,345 in the second quarter of this year, with a slight drop to 8,285 in the just-concluded quarter.

During the first nine months of 1993, railcars ordered totaled 27,410, up 28 percent from the same period of 1992.

Orders for rebuilt cars in the first nine months of 1993 topped 5,404, more than double the rate for the comparable 1992 period.

Locomotive deliveries in the third quarter fell from 211 a year ago to 175, but for the first nine months, the total increased from 372 in 1992 to 543 in 1993.

PENA CRITICIZES BRITISH

ON PACE OF AIR TALKS

WASHINGTON - Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena, turning up the heat on British aviation negotiators, said he has been "disappointed with the pace" of talks aimed at hammering out a new bilateral agreement.

Mr. Pena said in a statement late last week that both sides have failed to address the "core issues" necessary to reach a new agreement. U.S. and British negotiators are expected to meet again in December.

Mr. Pena's comments came as DOT approved for 60 days a request by British Airways and USAir Group Inc. to expand their "code-sharing" relationship between the two countries. Under the expanded agreement, the airlines will share airline codes on flights between the United Kingdom and 66 U.S. cities.

IOWA GETS FRA MONEY

FOR FLOOD REPAIRS

WASHINGTON - The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded $2.2 million to the state of Iowa for disbursement to railroads whose tracks in the state were damaged during flooding in July and August.

The aid program, funneled through the Local Rail Freight Assistance program, was funded at $21 million for nine states in legislation approved by Congress and passed by President Clinton in August.

CP Rail's Soo Line Railroad unit was the largest recipient of funding from Iowa, followed closely by Iowa Northern Railroad at $583,000 and Iowa Interstate Railroad at $534,000. Other carriers receiving funds were Chicago & North Western Transportation Co., Chicago, Central & Pacific Railroad, Keokuk Junction Railway, Davenport, Rock Island and North Western Railroad, Iowa Traction Co., Council Bluffs Railway, Cedar River Railroad and Burlington Junction Railway.