Israel Railways (ISR) is taking an important next step in its fleet modernization program by ordering an additional 72 double-deck coaches from rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation. This order is part of a framework agreement signed in October 2010, from which 150 coaches were ordered in 2010. The order, valued at approximately 122 million euro ($158 million US), brings the total number of new double-deck cars for ISR to 222.
The new coaches are an improved version of the trains currently in operation. The first coaches of this improved model, ordered last year, entered passenger service on December 1, 2011. Bombardier manufactures and tests the coaches at its Gorlitz plant in Germany before they are completed by Bombardier's partner in Israel, the Dimona-based company Matar.
Bombardier's commitment to the Israeli market and its proven and established production processes will enable it to deliver the newly ordered cars in a short timeframe. The deliveries will take place between March 2014 and February 2015.
"With each double-deck train capable of carrying approximately 900 passengers, these 222 new cars will significantly enhance passengers' comfort," said Jean Berge, Vice President Sales, Mainline and Metros, Bombardier Transportation. "More trains, more seats, more comfort and improved safety all add up to making modern mass transit in Israel more attractive and reliable."
Yossi Daskal, Chief Country Representative of Bombardier Transportation in Israel added: "The trust ISR has once again placed in Bombardier clearly reflects our valued customer's confidence in our double-deck trains. We are extremely committed to bringing our expertise and our state-of-the art technology to Israel and we will support ISR in providing a reliable, high-capacity means of transport, ready to support future growth."
The Israeli public transportation market is growing rapidly. There is a clear demand for more trains at shorter intervals to make passengers' journeys more comfortable. The new double-deck trains from Bombardier will help alleviate the overcrowding of current trains serving increasing numbers of passengers across the country. To further reduce the use of private cars, Israel is also developing Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) systems for several lines, including a pilot project in Jerusalem.