On July 26 detailed tender documents for Line 1 of Jerusalem’s proposed LRT network were published by the municipality and Israel’s Transport and Finance ministries. Prequalified bidders Passim, Adanim, City Pass and Ariel now have six months to return their bids for a 30-year build-operate-transfer concession covering the 13·8 km route from Pisgat Ze’ev to Herzl Avenue. Line 1 with 24 stops is expected to open in 2006, its fleet of 38 low-floor LRVs operating at 4min headways in the peaks to carry 100000 passengers a day.

Estimated cost of Line 1 is US$450m, of which US$280m will be provided by the winning consortium, which will provide rail infrastructure and rolling stock at its own risk and retain the fares income. Under a programme of preliminary works, Moriya was due to begin work this month on a tunnel between Nablus Gate and Jaffa Gate. Main civils contractor Hafira & Haziva and its Italian partner were due to start work shortly afterwards.

The City Line consortium has folded following the acquisition of Adtranz by Bombardier, which is a member of the Adanim group. Adanim has sought approval for Shikun Ubinuy and PB Investment to join it from City Line.