ISRAEL: Israel Railways has exercised an option for an additional 60 Bombardier Transportation Twindexx Vario push-pull coaches, and called tenders for the supply and maintenance of 60 double-deck electric multiple-units.

The €106m firm order announced on March 21 has been placed within an October 2010 framework contract with Bombardier. Deliveries are scheduled to run from March 2017 to July 2018. The push-pull coaches will operate with Traxx AC electric locomotives which ISR ordered in 2015 as part of its 25 kV 50 Hz z electrification programme.

The order will take ISR’s total fleet of Bombardier double-deck coaches to 425 vehicles.

The separate call for tenders covers 60 four-car and six-car EMUs. A proven design is required, which should be suitable for 160 km/h operation on regional and ‘inter-city comparable’ routes of up to 300 km.

Transport Minister Israel Katz said the ministry and ISR were ‘making full preparations for the electric era, which will significantly change the railways’, and ‘it is essential to have the proper fleet in order to provide the best services’.