Jerusalem tram

ISRAEL: The city of Jerusalem and the national transport and finance ministries have selected the J-Train consortium for a PPP contract to finance, build, operate and maintain the light rail Blue Line.

J-Train comprises bus operator Dan Bus, construction company Denya Cebus and Spain’s Comsa.

The estimated cost of the project is around 9bn shekels.

The consortium will operate the line for seven years with an option to extend for an additional 18 years, while the maintenance contract runs for 25 years.

The Blue Line will have branches from Gilo and Talpiot in southern Jerusalem to the Hebrew University Mount Scopus campus and Ramot in the north, with a shared central section of line. It will total 31 km, including a 2·5 km underground section running from Jaffa Road, beneath Ge’ula and Mea She’arim to the Sanhedria area.

There will be a total of 53 stops, including three underground, and a depot in Malkha.

Pesa is to supply a fleet of 132 single-ended 33 m long three-section trams from its Twist family, which will operate as 66 pairs. It is the Polish manufacturer’s first order from Israel. There is an option for a further 30 LRVs.

Opening is planned in stages between 2028 and 2030, although local industry sources have suggested this could be an ambitious target.