Israel Railways news

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Israel Railways news
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:32 AM

First, the good news:

A nation of commuters will be delighted by news of the successful railway test.

By Eytan Halon, JPOST

28 minutes. That’s the time it took for a passengerless train to make the journey from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Sunday in the first test run of the new high-speed rail link connecting two of Israel’s major cities, according to Channel 2.

A nation of commuters will be delighted by news of the successful test. The route, set to open in April 2018, will significantly cut the time currently required to travel from Tel Aviv to central Jerusalem by road or train.

The high-speed railway has been under construction since 2001 and will complement the existing, slower Jaffa-Jerusalem railway. Trains traveling on the 19th century Ottoman-built railway, which winds between picturesque hills, take approximately 80 minutes to arrive at their final destination. Many commuters opt to travel by car or bus.

 

Praising the test, Israel’s Transportation Minister Israel Katz said: “The high-speed train… will ensure the status of Jerusalem and the ability for people to live there and to open businesses. It will completely change the relationship between Jerusalem and the rest of the country.”

A bridge, part of Israel Railways' Jerusalem High Speed Link project, is seen near the Israeli town of Modiin July 7, 2012. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)A bridge, part of Israel Railways’ Jerusalem High Speed Link project, is seen near the Israeli town of Modiin July 7, 2012. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Trains will service all four of Tel Aviv’s railway stations, pick up passengers at Ben-Gurion Airport and conclude their journey at Jerusalem’s new railway station near the city’s central bus station. During peak times, three trains per hour are expected to travel in each direction.

An infrastructure project requiring nine bridges and four tunnels was never going to be cheap. When complete, the railway is expected to cost in the region of NIS 7 billion, over double its original estimate.

The new railway is expected to change Israel’s transport and work scene, effectively turning Tel Aviv and Jerusalem into commuter towns for each other.

For many Israelis, the end of the daily trauma of endless traffic jams and delays on Israel’s highways is  now in sight. April 2018 promises to bring a quicker, stress-free alternative.

Comments:   Please note that the train in the picture is not a new electric train, but two of the over 30-year old Danish IC-3 diesel mu sets of the type Amtrak tested between Milwaukee and Chicago some 30 years ago.  They are well maintained, and the inteiors look new.

Now for the less-good news.   The Yeshiva being on vacation, I decided yesterday to ride the new Haifa Beit Shahn line, which recreates in standard gauge a narrow-gauge German-Turkish line that was not rebuilt after Israel's war of independence but had served in the development of many of the Galilli settlements between the two major wars.   I had understood it to have a test electrification.  I was completely frustrated.  First, after breakfast near the shop where i picked up film for my Leica, I misread the route number of the bus and was delayed in getting to the Central Station.  Then, the bus trip to Tel Aviv Arlazorof, the best connection to the railroad, took a total of 3-1/2 hours intstead of 50 miniutes!   It would have taken even longer, but the driver, after inching along stop-and-go for two hours, finally decided to leave the highway, proceed south to beyond Lod, almost to Ramla, then go west to the coast, and up the coast highway into Tel Aviv.   I still have to learn what the problem was.  But then another problem arose.  At the departure boad at the Railway's Tel Aviv Central, only departures to the south (including Ben Gurion, Modiin and Jerusalem) and and north only to T. A. University and east to Kfar Saba were listed.  The main line to Hafia was closed for maintenance.  This is undoubtadly part of the internal war the secular railroad management is waging against the religious-run iInterior Ministry because of the ban on maintenance work on the Sabbath.  A modern double-track reverse-signalled CTC line, which the main T. A, - Haifa line is, need not be shut down for maintenance; some service certainly can be provided.

I could just give up and take a bus back to Jerusalem.  But why possibly suffer the same kind of ride that I received coming to T.A.?   I could try using the bus to Haifa.  Then see about the train to Beit Shahn.  I probably, in retrospect, should have done this, since I don't know when I will have the next opportunity.   But the thought of the hasle with the bus, probaly overcrowded, and getting back to Jerusalem very late, and the need to be early the next morning for my religious responsibilies, deterred me.  I ended up opting for the slighty under two hour train trip to Jerusalem Malcha with some assurance that the train would run on schedule.  And enjoy the very beautiful and dramatic scenery betwen Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem on the old line.   The scenery is very like that on the Cumbres and Toltec. 

This involved on this day a ride on the upper level of a bilevel push-pull two-stops south to the T. A, Haganah station and transfer to a three IC-3 train to Jerusalem, went on schedule, then a 35 bus from the Jerusalem Malcha station to the light rail, well in time for a leasurely diner.  I did not accomplish what I intended, but did enjoy the train ride, helped by a good tuna samdwich and a soda bought at the station.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:02 AM
Breaking news:
 
Yesterday, Monday, 28.08.2017, at 17:53 p.m., was a historical date in the local railways' history: the first ever electric locomotive type TRAXX from Bombardier Germany, arrived and was unloaded at the Kishon port of Haifa!
It has been then further transported on rails to the railways' Kishon workshops for completion works.

At the moment there is no electrified section over the network, but it is hoped that not too long from now, there will be a section of several kilometers on the A1 line near Latrun monastery where tests will be carried out

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 18, 2017 8:26 AM
September 15, 2017

Alstom and Siemens vie for Israeli EMU order

Written by  Aharon Gazit

ISRAEL Railways (IR) has eliminated all but two of the companies bidding for a contract to supply a fleet of 60 double-deck EMUs totaling 330 cars leaving only Alstom and Siemens in the running.

Six companies - Alstom, Bombardier, Hitachi Rail Italy, Siemens, Škoda Transportation, and Stadler Rail - submitted their best and final offers for the contract in September 2016.

The first trains are expected to arrive in Israel towards the end of 2019, and will operate on the first lines to be electrified including the A1 fast link to Jerusalem. However, as this line is due to open in April 2018 existing double-deck push-pull coaches powered by electric locomotives will be used until the new trains are ready to enter service.

The winner of the tender will be required to build a new maintenance workshop at Ashkelon and maintain the new trains there.

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