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Bombardier to build train maintenance center in Israel
By RON FRIEDMAN
01/12/2010
The Canadian plane and train manufacturer, plans to boost its presence in Israel following the purchase.
 
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.

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.

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“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.”

Daskal added 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 their schedules.

“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 said.

“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 market.”

“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.
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