Israel Railways continues to break passenger records with 48.5 million passengers carried in 2014 (compared with 45.1 million in 2013, and 40 million in 2012) and is expecting to pass the 50 million threshold in 2015.
Freight haulage has also increased by 12% to 7.5 million tonnes.
Five new railway lines are under construction: Ashkelon – Beer Sheva line in the south (70 km double track) has been open to traffic as far as Netivot since 15 February and is due to be completed by the end of the year while track laying has recently started along the Haifa – Bet Shean (60 km single track) line and Akko – Carmiel line (20 km double track) in the north. Tunnelling along the new fast line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (56 km double track) has been completed and works are underway on the new suburban line from Kfar Saba – Ra’anana – Tel Aviv (22 km double track).
The electrification of the first 420 km line and the supply of electric locomotives have been put to tender and a tender for double-deck EMUs is to be published soon.
When works are completed by the year 2020 more than 70 million passengers are expected to use the rail system every year and the number of daily services will grow from 450 currently to 860.
(Source: Israel Railways)