Siemens has been named as preferred bidder by Israel’s national rail operator to supply 330 electric passengers train carriages in a deal worth around £675m. The deal, which still needs to be ratified by the Ministry of Economy and Industry, will see the German company supply 60 four-car and six-car trains to the state-owned operator, Israel Railways, over five years from 2020. Also included in the deal is the option for Israel Railways to purchase more trains should they be required within the next ten years.
Providing an eco-friendly alternative to more traditional rolling stock, the double-decker carriages will be equipped with electric motors that require no additional power from other engines and will operate on line lines including the latest high speed network connecting Jerusalem with Tel Aviv.
A spokesperson from Siemens told SmartRail World that the as-yet-unsigned contract giving the German company preferred bidder status meant that “negotiations start now”. Siemens said separately that it was happy to be named number one. “We are proud to supply Israel Railways with the most advanced carriages in the world and to be a partner in such an important project for Israel Railways and the State of Israel.”
The news comes in a particularly eventful period for Siemens after it which signed an expected major deal with Alstom last week, combining its mobility business with the French company in a deal that was billed as a “merger of equals”.
Speaking on the Franco-German merger, Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG, said: “We put the European idea to work and together with our friends at Alstom, we are creating a new European champion in the rail industry for the long term.” Alstom was the final bidder in the running for the Israel Railways contract, coming ahead of Bombardier Transportation, Hitachi Rail Italy, Siemens, Škoda Transportation and Stadler, which were also in the running.
In related news, on the other side of the globe the Sydney Metro took delivery of an Alstom driverless train for its Skytrain network. Manufactured in India, services are due to begin in 2019 and will eventually grow to a fleet of 22 six-car trains, providing passengers with a train every four minutes.
“We are happy about the award and proud to supply Israel Railways with the most advanced carriages in the world and to be a partner in such an important project for Israel Railways and the State of Israel,” said Siemens Spokesperson.