Israel Railways received its first train adapted to run on electricity on Thursday. The electric train, which will operate on the new line to Jerusalem and on the Akko-Karmiel route, will have improved speed, seat capacity, and passenger safety.
The new electric train has six cars with 750 seats. The transition to electricity will allow Israel Railways to operate trains with eight cars and 1,030 seats, a 37% increase in the number of seats.
The cars have improved safety, technical, and operating features, including the ability to travel through tunnels more than two kilometers long, to operate on the A1 high-speed line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the installation of advanced European fire safety standards. The maximum travel speed will rise from 140 km/h to 160 km/h.
The electric train is the first of 72 electric cars ordered, which will meet the initial needs of the electric lines that will begin to operate in 2018: the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed line, and the Akko-Karmiel line. The order is part of an option in a contract signed between Israel Railways and Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBD) in October 2010 for the supply of up to 150 modern double-decker cars.
Israel Railways also exercised an option with Bombardier to convert its remaining cars to electricity. The process will take four years. During the interim, until the conversion is completed in 2020, Israel Railways will operate both diesel and electric trains. During this period, the cars will be dual-purpose for operation with either a diesel or electric locomotive. The cars operated by diesel locomotives with electrical generators to power systems will stay in service through 2020.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 31, 2014
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