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.
Israel Railways system currently uses diesel locomotives. The move is expected to bring a 20% savings in energy costs.
The plan is also expected to save the railway 30% in maintenance costs, while increasing the speed and reliability of the trains.
The electrification plan covers the conversion of 420 kilometers of existing and planned railway lines, and constructing transformer stations and control systems. Lines to be converted first will be the rapid-transit Tel Aviv-Jerusalem route and the Akko(Acre) -Karmiel line, both of which are currently being built.
The first electric train arrived in Israel last March.