Haifa-Nazareth Light Rail, Israel

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Trans-Israel, a project management agency of Israel’s Ministry of Transport and Road Safety, will oversee the development of the project, which will connect the cities of Haifa and Nazareth.

The light rail transit project will connect communities in the Galilee and Haifa metropolitan areas. Investment in the project is estimated at NIS 6 billion ($1.85 billion).

The proposed light rail service is expected to have an annual ridership of approximately 30 million passengers, while daily ridership is estimated at 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

Haifa-Nazareth Light Rail Project Route Details

The light rail route will be 41 km long and will cover ten municipalities. It will include 20 stations, ten of which will be integrated into the street, while the other ten are expected to be elevated.

Trains on the route will depart from Merkazit HaMifratz station in Haifa, Israel’s largest transport hub, and pass through the main business center of Kiryat Ata, which will be surrounded by proposed neighborhoods and a center commercial.

It will then continue along Highway 79, passing through the communities of Shfar’am, Bir El-Maksur, Mashhad, Reineh and the town of Nof HaGalil.

The train will eventually reach Nazareth, the last station on the route and a popular tourist destination for Christians around the world.

The route will include both urban and interurban sections. The trains are expected to have a maximum travel speed of around 100 km/h, while the estimated travel time between Haifa and Nazareth is nearly 50 minutes.

The fleet will include between 30 and 40 trains which should run at a frequency of four to ten minutes.

Haifa-Nazareth Light Rail Project Infrastructure

The light rail project will also include the construction of a depot, a control center and up to three parking areas. The 85,000 m² depot will be located in the town of Kiryat Ata, in the Haifa district. It will be used for the storage and maintenance of light rail cars.

A control center will be built to control and monitor the movement of trains along the line. Rooftop solar power generation facilities are also expected to be installed at the depot.

Haifa-Nazareth Light Rail Construction Details

The Haifa-Nazareth light rail project will be implemented in two stages.

Preparation work, including excavation and pile drilling, is progressing. The expansion of the Gilad Bridge and the construction of a new adjacent bridge will be undertaken in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

The first stage will include detailed design and civil works, including the construction, upgrading and relocation of water, sewer, power and communications infrastructure.

In addition, earthworks and the construction of bridges, roads and parking areas will be completed during the phase.

Executed through a public-private partnership, the second stage will include the financing, planning, construction, operation and maintenance of the light rail line. The works will include the installation of railway infrastructure such as electrification, signaling and command and control systems.

In addition, the second stage will include the laying of tracks and the acquisition of rolling stock.

A phased construction approach will reduce the impact on pedestrians and businesses.

Benefits of the project

The Haifa-Nazareth Light Rail Project will provide a large-scale, efficient and environmentally sustainable public transportation network.

It will connect towns on the outskirts of the country to major cities.

Contractors involved

Dana Engineering, in collaboration with the Spanish company IDOM, has been awarded the project management contract.

Ricardo Certification, an accredited independent assurance and testing company with a focus on rail and other sectors, has won a tender to provide consultancy services for the Independent Safety Assessment (SISA) of the project .

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Jose P. Rogers