Tracklaying where the the A1 Fast Link joins the Tel-Aviv - Modi'in line at Anava Junction (Photo: Boaz Levy).

ISRAEL: A record budget of 28·3bn shekels for development of the rail network by 2020 was approved by Transport Minister Israel Katz on February 3. Katz said the projects would help to improve links to peripheral areas in particular.

Israel Railways said the spending would significantly improve services, with electrification and new signalling enabling the number of passenger trains to be increased from 450 to 860 per day and ridership forecast to exceed 70 million passengers/year.

ISR investment plans, million shekels
Electrification 1200
Signalling including ETCS Level 2 3700
Depots for electric trains, building the Modi'in Outskirts - Rishonim - Rishon Le-Ziyyon line in the median of highway 431, connection between Modi'in Outskirts and the A1 fast link, freight facilities 3400
Planning infrastructure projects including the Tel-Aviv - Haifa quadrupling, linking Rishon Le-Ziyyon Rishonim and Rishon Le-Ziyyon West (Moshe Dayan) stations, enlarging Ben-Gurion Airport station and building a Lod bypass 700
Station upgrading, and new stations at Kfar-Menakhem (to open 2017), Mazkeret Batya and Netanya Sapir 153
Park and ride facilities and other passenger improvements 245
Grade separation projects 335