Israel should take immediate steps to electrify its 260 miles of railway track, a senior executive from a Canadian rail corporation has told The Jerusalem Post.
“We are supporting the investment and deployment of electrification,” said Laurent Troger, president for Rolling Stock Atlantic Services at Bombardier. “It would provide a significant opportunity to enhance the transportation,” making it more efficient and environmentally friendly, he said.
Troger was in Yerushalayim for the International Transportation Conference in Ramat Gan, sponsored by the Morag Group and the Transportation Ministry, in partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office.
The rail expert urged Israelis to bring the country’s train infrastructure up to western standards and employ advanced operating systems.
Troger touted trains as energy savers and noted that they contribute very little to overall pollution, accounting for only about 0.6 percent of carbon dioxide emission caused by transportation in the European Union, whereas road traffic accounts for about 70.7 percent.
All over the world, “the climate is right for trains,” Troger declared in his conference presentation.
Regarding the efficiency of rail, in an urban environment, he pointed out that a metro rail can carry up to 50,000 people per hour and a light rail up to 22,000 people per hour, whereas cars and buses can only carry 2,100 and 9,000 people per hour, respectively.
Once the government moves forward with longstanding plans to electrify its tracks and releases a tender for electric trains, Troger said that Bombardier hopes to offer a competitive prospect. Bombardier is the maker of the red double-decker coaches that are already in use on most Israel Railway routes.