Israel Railways, which until now has used diesel to fuel its trains, is converting to electricity in a move that is expected to bring a 20 percent savings in energy costs. The plan is also expected to save the railway 30 percent in maintenance costs, while increasing the speed and reliability of the trains.
The plan advanced by Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz was approved this week by the ministerial committee for internal affairs, services and local government.
A complex system of control systems, transformer stations and at least 420 kilometers of existing and planned railway lines is set to be “electrified” under the plan.
The first electric train arrived in Israel last March; lines to be converted first will be the rapid-transit Tel Aviv-Jerusalem route and the Akko-Karmiel line, both of which are currently being built.