Israel Railways has taken delivery of its first electric-powered train, promising improved speed, seating capacity and passenger safety, Globes reported on Monday.
The train is designated to serve the new line to Yerushalayim and on the Akko-Carmiel route. It has six cars with 750 seats. The transition to electricity will enable Israel Railways to operate trains with eight cars and 1,030 seats, a 37% increase in carrying capacity.
The train was manufactured by Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company Bombardier, and is the first installment of an order of 72 cars to be concluded in 2018.
The maximum travel speed will rise from 87 mph to almost 100 mph and meet advanced European fire safety standards.
Israel Railways also exercised an option with Bombardier to convert its remaining cars to electricity. The process will take four years. During the interim, until the conversion is completed in 2020, Israel Railways will operate both diesel and electric trains. During this period, the cars will be dual-purpose for operation with either a diesel or electric locomotive. The cars operated by diesel locomotives with electrical generators to power systems will stay in service through 2020.