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ISRAEL: In addition to accelerating major infrastructure projects and undertaking track and rolling stock maintenance, Israel Railways has used the opportunity presented by the suspension of passenger services during national Covid-19 lockdown measures to undertake planned enhancement works at 40 stations.

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The works with an estimated value of US$4·3m included the installation of new lighting, replacing floors, repainting, vegetation management, changing passenger flows, installing ticket gates, platform extensions, canopy repairs and various accessibility projects including rebuilding toilets.

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The works were due to be undertaken over the next few years, but have been accelerated to take advantage of the service suspension.

ISR had been planning to restart passenger operations on May 17, but the Ministry of Health has now delayed the restart to June 1.

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‘We’re preparing ourselves to open the stations and gradually resume of passenger service according to instructions from the Ministry of Health’, said ISR General Manager Michael Maiksner. ‘As well as accelerating big infrastructure projects involving track, electrification and rolling stock, we’ve utilised the recent months to rebuild and upgrade more than half of the passenger stations, so the public will enjoy a much improved service.’