Irish rail workers subject to random drug, alcohol tests
Irish legislators passed a new law in October allowing for train operators and other rail workers to be randomly tested for drug and alcohol use. Legal provisions will make it a criminal offense to be intoxicated while working on the railway, reported The Irish Independent.
Transport Minister Martin Cullen said there are currently no comparable laws in place.
China starts, completes rail projects
China started building a nearly 170-mile railway from Fuzhou, capital city of East China’s Fujian Province, to the coastal city Xiamen. The railway, with a total cost of $1.78 billion, will run at speeds up to 125 miles per hour, reported China Daily. The line, of which 40% will be built on bridges and in tunnels, is slated for completion in 2009.
China has since completed its other rail project, the pan-Himalayan rail line linking the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, with the northwestern province of Qinghai. According to the Xinhua News Agency, $3 billion was spent on the final 710-mile section.
The line, which climbs 16,640 feet above sea level, required workers to breathe bottled oxygen during its construction, to cope with the high altitudes.
Qatar introduces bus service
Qatar introduced bus service in mid-October. The state transport company, Mowasalat, is running a fleet of buses on two routes, with plans to develop a 13-route network by January 2006.
The buses have seating capacity for 44 passengers, with room for up to 20 standing passengers, reported the Khaleej Times. The area nearest the driver is reserved for women and children.