The plan calls for the electrification of 250 kilometers of track, replacing the diesel locomotives now in use
The National Infrastructures Committee advised last week that it had approved in principle the Israel Railways (IR) plan to begin electrification of Israel’s rail network.
In 2004 it was announced that IR was to electrify 300 route-km within 5 years at an estimated cost of $US350m. Following completion, savings in maintenance and operating expenses of some $US66m annually were projected and eventually it was hoped to have 838 route-km under wires.
In 2005, IR called for prequalification tenders from companies interested in installing and maintaining electrification on selected routes over a 12-year time-span, with options to extend maintenance contracts for a further four 6-year periods.
The National Infrastructures Committee approval means that the plan is properly formulated, meets the threshold conditions, and is ready to be moved forward. The plan calls for the electrification of 250 kilometers of track, replacing the diesel locomotives now in use.
The first section to be wired is that between Tel Aviv and Modi'in (53km), after which the northern main line from Tel Aviv to Binyamina and Akko will be tackled. This is to be followed by the electrification of an entirely new line - not yet started - from Akko to Karmiel, as well as the recently reopened line to Jerusalem. Another new line, that linking Tel Aviv to Rishon, is also to be electrified.
Israel Railways published the second stage of the tender in October 2005, asking for the four participating consortia to submit financial bids for the NIS 1.6 billion project. The consortia comprise of Israeli and international companies: Alstom , Siemens AG, Balfour Beatty plc and China Railway First Group.