Israel Railways has begun receiving proposals in the bid for the electrification of the country's railway system.
Three consortia are bidding: Balfour Beatty Rail GmbH, Electra Ltd. and Danya Cebus Ltd.; Elecnor SA and Semi SA; and Siemens AG and China Railways Construction Company.
Electrification will reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Electric trains are also quieter and more environment friendly.
Israel Railways CEO Opher Linchevski says electrification is IR's next main project after major infrastructure expansion.
The work will be carried out in stages in conjuction with the network's expansion and within budget constraints.
The first stage is to include 250 kilometers of track including the high-speed line to Jerusalem, he said.