ISRAEL Railways (IR) has eliminated all but two of the companies bidding for a contract to supply a fleet of 60 double-deck EMUs totalling 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.