Spanish-Israeli company wins J'lem light rail tender; Chinese firm unsuccessful

"Selecting the winner of the JNET project is a key milestone in promoting Jerusalem's transportation infrastructure," said Accountant-General Rony Hizkiyahu.

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August 8, 2019 04:37
2 minute read.
A light railway driver drives a tram in Jerusalem

A light railway driver drives a tram in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Spanish-Israeli owned company TransJerusalem J-Net Ltd. was selected by an interministerial committee on Wednesday to construct the planned extension of the Jerusalem Light Rail and take over operations of the growing network.

Owned by Shapir Engineering and Spanish rail firm CAF, TransJerusalem J-Net was established for the purpose of competing for the Jerusalem JNET tender.

A second consortium bidding for the tender – Shikun & Binui and Egged, together with the Chinese company CRRC, Spanish firm COMSA, Portuguese corporation EFACEC and Polish service provider MPK – was unsuccessful.

The tender, for which bids were submitted by a May deadline, includes taking over the operation and maintenance of the existing Red Line, as well as the extension of the northern segment of the line to Neveh Ya’acov and the southern segment to Hadassah-University Medical Center in Ein Kerem.

The company will replace the CityPass Group, which built and has operated the light rail since construction began in 2002.

The company will also be responsible for the construction of the Green Line, which will run from Mount Scopus to Gilo and Malha, with branches to Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus and Givat Shaul. The new line is expected to transport 160,000 passengers around the city on a daily basis.

The project includes the construction of 27 km. of rail, 50 stations, the design and manufacture of over 100 carriages and significant network control infrastructure. Operation of the expanded network, set to stretch over 40 km. of the city once complete, is due to commence gradually in 2022 and be fully operational by 2025.

“Selecting the winner of the JNET project is a key milestone in promoting Jerusalem’s transportation infrastructure,” said Accountant-General Rony Hizkiyahu.

“This project is a significant part of the 2030 Plan, in which infrastructure projects are expected to be implemented in a variety of areas such as energy, desalination, waste and, of course, other transportation projects, such as the light rail in Tel Aviv and the metro project in Gush Dan,” Hizkiyahu said.

“Completing the tender process in such a short time frame demonstrates that government ministries are working diligently to advance the standard of infrastructure in Israel to the standard of developed countries as soon as possible.”

The project, a public-private partnership, will be the largest of its kind in Israel to date. TransJerusalem J-Net will operate the network for an initial period of 15 years, with an option for an additional 10 years, and will be responsible for the maintenance of the network for 25 years.


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