Israel announced 2040 Rail Strategy

Israel Railways’ Vice President for Infrastructure Development, Reuven Kogan, presented Israel Railways’ strategic plan for the railway until 2040. The plan was sent to the Minister of Transport, Yisrael Katz, for his comments, after which it will go to the cabinet for approval. The cost of the plan is NIS 123.6 billion (USD 35 billion), of which NIS 94.8 billion (USD 26.8 billion) will be invested in railway tracks, stations, and cargo terminals; NIS 19.2 billion (USD 5.4 billion) will be invested in rolling stock and NIS 9.6 billion (USD 2.7 billion) in maintenance sites. A joint steering committee of Israel Railways and the Ministries of Finance and Transport formulated the plan.

The aim of the strategy announced by Israel Railways foresees the increasing the railway’s share of public transport from 3% to 8% in 2040 by raising the annual number of journeys from 59.6 million to 306 million.

One of the main visions of the strategy aims at connecting Israel’s four main cities with a completely electrical, faster, and denser network, including express trains traveling at 250 km/h. In order to achieve this, the number of railway stations will be increased from 68 to 120, and the length of track will grow from 1,230 kilometers at present to 2,572 kilometers in 2040.

By implementing the Development Plan, Israel Railways seeks to attain the vision of bringing the periphery closer to the centre, to make it possible to live in outlying communities and work in the center—shortening the geographical distance between suburban residential areas and busy town centers.

Another aspect of the strategy is related to rail freight transport, which is due to grow with the extension of the railway network. According to Kogan, the target is to increase the number of freight trains from 104 at present to 224 in 2040, and the tonnage carried from 53,000 tons a day at present to 143,000 tons a day in 2040. The number of cargo terminals will be also increased from 19 to 32.

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