Israel Railways Announces Plans for Electrification

JERUSALEM -
View of  infrastructure work on the Israel Railways at the Herzliya railway station in 2016. (Avi Dishi/Flash90)

Israel Railways is going electric – and as part of what the company calls a “revolution in Israeli transportation,” it has signed a contract to acquire 330 cars that can be used on electricity-powered tracks. The double-decker cars are being produced by Siemens, and are part of a massive NIS 13 billion upgrade to the country’s inter-city train system.

The cars will be equipped with all the latest electronic, communication and navigation gear, including a GPS system that will allow anyone to track the location of a train at any time. The first cars will arrive here in 2020, and the first line they will be used on will be the super-fast train between Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv. As part of the electrification process, the IEC has already purchased 62 electric engines, which are currently being tested.

The massive project will eventually see the country’s train system convert from the diesel fuel currently used to electricity, which, Israel Railways officials say, is cleaner, cheaper and will allow for faster trains. New tracks are being laid around the country to accommodate the change, they said.

In a statement, Israel Railways said that it was “preparing for one of the most significant changes ever since it was established – the conversion of the country’s railways to electrical power. The project will completely change the way train transportation works in Israel. The quiet, environmentally friendly and fast cars we are acquiring will provide excellent service to riders, both on existing and new lines, and enable the company to increase the number of passengers, provide them with good service, and bring public transportation into a new era.”