Israel: Siemens, Bombardier Won't Bid in TA Light Rail Tender

June 26--Siemens and Bombardier, two of the world's three leading light railway carriage manufacturers, will not bid in the tender to supply light rail trains for the planned Red Line in the Dan Region, senior executives in the two companies stated today.

The bids in the tender will be filed next week. It is believed that only a few of the 12 companies that purchased the tender documents will file bids. The tender is for the purchase of 90 carriages and an option for 30 additional carriages for a total of NIS 2 billion. Among the companies expected to complete in the tender are French company Alstom, Chinese company CNR, and Spanish company CAF.

At the sixth Railway Conference in Kfar HaMaccabiah today, Bombardier Israel CEO Yossi Daskal and Siemens Israel Mobility Division manager Moti Gatenio severely criticized the tender terms, especially the decision to assign a decisive weight (70%) to the bid price, and only a 30% weight to the technical aspect.

Daskal noted that other conditions in the tender created problems, such as the euro6 million bid bond requirement. He added that there was no project with characteristics similar to those of the Tel Aviv light rail anywhere in the world; for example, a light rail traveling underground for most of the route, instead of a subway.

NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System chairman Alex Wiznitzer said that he could not comment on complaints in the middle of the tender process. Wiznitzer repeated his prediction that construction of the Red Line would be completed by 2021. Israel Railways Vice Director Reuven Kogan predicted that the infrastructure tender would be published around September, close to the Jewish new year, while the tender for purchasing locomotives would be published next month.

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