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The data of four networks that can be used in carrying out comparative studies with methods for transmission network expansion planning are given. These networks are of various types and different levels of complexity. The main mathematical formulations used in transmission expansion studies-transportation models, hybrid models, DC power flow models, and disjunctive models are also summarised and compared. The main algorithm families are reviewed-both analytical, combinatorial and heuristic approaches. Optimal solutions are not yet known for some of the four networks when more accurate models (e.g. the DC model) are used to represent the power flow equations-the state of the art with regard to this is also summarised. This should serve as a challenge to authors searching for new, more efficient methods.