Six companies have submitted bids in the Israeli Railways tender for the procurement of 330 electrified two-storey railway cars: Siemens, Alstom, Stadler, Hitachi, Skoda, and Bombardier. The cars to be purchased will have 1,700 passenger seats, and will account for 37% of the 520 railway cars now operated by Israel Railways. The new cars are slated to cost NIS 3 billion.
The tender is part of the NIS 13 billion Israel Railways electrification program. The new cars are scheduled to arrive in Israel in late 2019, where they will be maintained by the winning company in a garage it will build in Ashkelon. Simultaneously with buying the new cars, Israel Railways is converting diesel cars to electricity in order to use them on the high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway line scheduled to open in late 2017.
The advantages of electrified railway cars are quietness and environmental friendliness, greater speed and shorter travel times, more seats on each train, improved acceleration and braking capability, and substantial savings on maintenance and energy.
Israel Railways CEO Boaz Tsafrir said, "Israel Railways is preparing for one of the most momentous changes since it was founded - converting the railway network to electricity and operating electrical trains. The project will completely change Israel Railways' operations, with a significant upgrade in the railway experience for both passengers and the public located near the railway tracks. High-speed, environmentally friendly, and quiet electrified trains will provide better service to passengers on new and existing lines, and enable Israel Railways to continue increasing the number of its customers and providing a real alternative to private vehicles."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 28, 2016
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