January 22 - Project forwarders and shipping lines active in North America and Australia will welcome the news of two large railcar orders placed with Bombardier Transportation.

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) has placed a USD681 million order for 365 railcars. The new deal is is an extension of a contract signed in 2012 for an initial 410 railcars.

Bombardier will assemble the rolling stock at its manufacturing plant in Plattsburgh, New York. Ten pilot cars will be delivered to San Francisco in the spring of 2015; the 765 remaining railcars will follow between 2017 and 2021.

A second bumper deal valued at USD4.1 billion has been signed between a consortium led by Bombardier Transportation's rail technology unit and the Australian state of Queensland, according to international reports.

Bombardier will supply 75 electrical railcar units, provide maintenance service for 30 years and build a railcar depot in Australia; Bombardier's share of the contract is valued at approximately USD2.7 billion.

The other members of the consortium include asset manager John Laing, Japanese trading house Itochu Corp and Uberior.