Canada's Bombardier Inc has been chosen to supply 62 Traxx AC electric locomotives to Israel Railways under a contract for 1 billion shekels (US$263 million).
Israel is in the middle of a multi-billion-dollar process to electrify the country's 420-km (260-mile) railway system to reduce noise and pollution.
Israel Railways said it would take delivery of the locomotives in 2017 and that they were mainly for use on a new fast rail line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The deal includes an option for a further 32 locomotives.
The 6 MW Traxx locomotives will be designed to operate in push-pull mode with trains of up to eight double-deck or 12 single-deck coaches carrying up to 1 400 passengers at a maximum speed of 160 km/h. Bombardier is already assisting ISR with the conversion of 294 push-pull double-deck coaches from diesel operation to work with the future electric locos as part of the 13·7bn shekel electrification programme.
Bombardier, which has been supplying trains to Israel for more than a decade, beat out France's Alstom and two Chinese companies, CSR and CNR, to win the deal, said Israel Railways, which is also holding a tender for 294 new electric double-decker carriages.
Chinese railway company CNR has protested a decision to award a tender for locomotives to Bombardier in a letter sent Sunday to Israel Railways. The firm claimed the results of the tender were predetermined and hurt the "public's interest" and demanded Israel Railways avoided completing the tender until CNR could examine the materials and "exhaust its procedural rights." In response, Israel Railways said it "offered all bidders an equal opportunity. The tenders committee made its decision based on practical considerations alone, according to the law."