ISRAEL: Israel Railways and government agency National Roads Company signed an agreement on October 14 setting out their respective responsibilities for proposed 25 kV 50 Hz rail electrification projects.

As the agency responsible for national infrastructure projects, NRC will electrify new lines including the 23 km 'Akko - Karmi'el line and the 7·2 km Hasharon line which is to be built in the median of a road to link Kfar-Sava with the coastal line linking Haifa to Tel Aviv. NRC will also install track and signalling before handing over the lines.

ISR will be responsible for electrifying existing routes, and on October 15 issued a request for companies to prequalify for a contract to install and maintain electrification on an initial 420 km of the network requiring 14 substations.

'At last after many years of planning and design the railway's most important project, electrification, is underway', said ISR General Manager Boaz Zarir. 'It will be the basis for significant improvement to services in terms of speed, capacity and frequency.'