Yesterday, the ministerial committee for internal affairs, services and local government approved the plan of Minister of Transport and Road Safety Yisrael Katz to convert Israel's railway network to electricity.
The electrification plan covers the conversion of 420 kilometers of existing and planned railway lines, and constructing transformer stations and control systems. The first lines to be electrified will be the rapid Tel Aviv-Jerusalem link and the Acre-Karmiel line, both of which are currently under construction. The first electric train arrived in Israel last March.
Israel Railways currently uses diesel locomotives. The switch to electricity is expected to lead to a 20% saving in energy costs, a 30% saving in maintenance costs, higher speeds, greater reliability, and other benefits.
"This project will change the face of transport in Israel," said Katz, "and it will help to narrow social and economic gaps by enhancing Israel Railways' ability to transport more passengers from place to place, and more quickly. Boosting the frequency of trains will make it possible to offer people living in the periphery a greater range of employment options."
Israel Railways CEO Boaz Tzafrir said, "The ability to operate faster and longer trains will allow us to take more passengers and transport them safely and in the shortest possible time from point to point."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 23, 2014
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