Bombardier, the Canadian plane and train manufacturer, plans to boost its
presence in Israel following the purchase, in October, of 78 double-deck coaches
by Israel Railways.RELATED:West Bank train line plan draws Palestinian ire
The company is planning to open a maintenance
facility in Israel to service the trains at an estimated cost of NIS 800
million, Yossi Daskal, chief country representative of Bombardier Transportation
in Israel said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
“Bombardier is an
international company and the biggest train manufacturer in the world. It has
factories and maintenance centers all across the globe. Part of the purchase
agreement was that we would establish and operate a local maintenance center
here in Israel,” said Daskal. “All the work will be done by Bombardier
technicians. Israel Railways mechanics wont touch them.”
that the company was currently looking for a site in which to situate the center
and that they planned to have it up and running by the time the first new
coaches arrive in October 2011.
“Train coaches are not an ‘off the shelf’
product. It usually takes between 30 and 32 months to have the first coach
complete, but we were pressured by Israel Railways and all 78 coaches will be
here within 27 months of the purchase,” said Daskal.
The vehicles will be
manufactured at Bombardier Transportation’s Görlitz facility in Germany, near
the Polish border.
Daskal explained that Israel Railways was suffering a
serious deficit in coaches and was forced to use older coaches in order to meet
“Every year train ridership goes up between 10-15
percent, but the train company hasn’t made any new purchases since 2006. That
may be why the trains leave at such large intervals and why they tend to be
crowded at times,” said Daskal.
According to Daskal, Borbardier’s
maintenance center will initially be manned by engineers and technicians from
overseas, but that within a couple of years they would build and train a cadre
of local employees.
“Bombardier will grow from employing seven people to
70 in 2012, and more depending on the purchase of our coaches,” he
“The moment the company knows that it has commitments here for the
next 20 years, it’s only natural that it will invest in the local
“Right now the train industry here in Israel is
underdeveloped. We think that our coming in will boost that. We already
work with local manufacturers that supply us everything from seats to stairwells
to windows and I am sure it will grow in the future,” said Daskal.