Citypass submits Jerusalem light rail plan

If the inspection runs smoothly, laying the tracks and construction of the 46 rail cars designated for the Jerusalem system could begin in March.

By DANIEL KENNEMER
December 8, 2005 06:36
2 minute read.
israel train 88 298

israel train 88 248. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Citypass, the concessionaire chosen to construct the Jerusalem light rail system, submitted its first set of plans to the Jerusalem municipality for final approval, the project's managers said Wednesday. The plans detail construction of 7.8 kilometers of track, including the first segments of the initial Red Line to be constructed, and the light rail depot to be located on the eastern slopes of French Hill. The total length of the Red Line and depot project is 13.9 km. "This is a historic moment. The Jerusalem Municipality is the first in the country dealing with the construction of a light rail in an urban setting at all, and in particular in one of the most important historic cities in the world," said Jerusalem Municipality General Director Eitan Meir. "All departments in the municipality are prepared to examine the complex plans and supervise the installation work. We will aid the concessionaire but also insist on high quality without compromise," he added. Inspecting the plans would take several weeks, Meir said. The plans submitted detail three segments of the Red Line: Mount Herzl to Kiryat Moshe; Route 1 from Rehov Hatzanhanim (at the walls of the Old City) to the French Hill junction; and, in Pisgat Ze'ev, between Sderot Moshe Dayan and Derech Ramallah. If the inspection runs smoothly, laying the tracks and construction of the 46 rail cars designated for the Jerusalem system could begin in March, said Citypass CEO Kuki Edry. Citypass has already invested more than NIS 60m. in the project and Edry noted that Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim have indicated that they were willingness to loan the group roughly NIS 2 billion. Building the track infrastructure and cars will cost NIS 3.4b., in total, with the public sector providing NIS 1.4b. and Citypass investing the remaining NIS 2b. Citypass could then earn profits from the project for 30 years before transferring it to full public ownership. The Jerusalem Public Transportation Administration was established as a new public authority to manage the light rail. Citypass - "pass" meaning "rail" in Hebrew - is a consortium that brings together Polar Investments (27.5%), Ashtrom (27.5%), Harel Investments (20%), French rail car maker Alstom (20%), and French public transportation operator Connex (5%).

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