The first train for the Tel Aviv light rail came off the assembly line of Chinese company CRRC in Changchun, China this week. The ceremony was attended by representatives of NTA - Metropolitan Mass Transit System, which is responsible for the light rail project on behalf of the Israeli government. This is the first time in which a light train manufactured completely in China is entering a market of a developed country.
One of the NTA representatives, VP systems and technology Eli Kalifa, said at the ceremony, "According to the very good experience we have had so far, we expect CRRC to participate in our future routes." No tender has been issued yet for the future routes.
The Chinese press reported that the special features ordered for the Israeli train included an improved climate system and windows with protection against explosions and stone throwing. The trains will be painted white to match Tel Aviv's White City. A substantial proportion of the carriages are made of lightweight compound material. CRRC won a 2015 Ministry of Transport tender to supply 90 light railway carriages for the Red Line, plus a 16-year maintenance contract for both the carriages and for infrastructure.
The Tel Aviv light rail Red Line is scheduled to begin operating in October 2021.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 18, 2019
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