ISRAEL Railways (IR) received the first six of 72 push-pull double-deck coaches currently being built by Bombardier to serve new electrified services which will be introduced on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem and Acre-Carmiel lines from 2018. Each electric train will carry six cars and can seat 750 passengers.
The order is part of an option in a deal inked in October 2010 between Israel Railways and Bombardier Inc. to provide up to 150 modern double-decker cars.
Israel Railways has ordered from Bombardier 72 trains, which meet European fire standards. With the introduction of electric traction, train formation will grow to eight cars, which will increase capacity by 37% to 1030 seats.
Line speeds will also increase to 160km/h from 140km/ at present. In addition, IR has activated an option with Bombardier to convert all of its current coaches so they are suitable for electric traction.
This project is expected to last for four years. The new coaches can also operate using diesel locomotives and IR will run both electric and diesel trains in parallel until the completion of its electrification programme in 2020.