China light-rail starts in Israel

About 100,000 people from across Israel enjoyed a free light rail ride along Tel Aviv’s Red Line on Friday, to mark the first operative day of the line jointly built and operated by Chinese and Israeli companies.

The Red Line runs 24 km between the cities of Petah Tikva, northeast of Tel Aviv, and Bat Yam to the south, passing through the cities of Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv-Yafo, and Ramat Gan. It includes 34 stations, of which 10 are underground.

Among the companies involved in the construction of the project are two subsidiaries of construction giant China Railway Group Limited (CREC), which are China Railway Tunnel Group Co., Ltd (CRTG) and China Railway Electrification Engineering Group Co., Ltd (EEB).

Liu Yuanlue, project leader of CRTG-EEB, told Xinhua that this is the first time that CREC performed an overseas project with both design and construction are in accordance with related European standards.

CRTG undertook the construction of the line’s 12-km tunnel in the west segment, and CRTG-EEB was responsible for the design, procurement, installation, and commissioning of 39 electrician systems.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), another Chinese construction giant, built the line’s east segment and several underground stations, and will also take charge of the 14-year operation and maintenance together with China’s Shenzhen Metro and the Israeli partner Tevel Metro.

“It is the first time that a Chinese company has won an urban rail transit operation and maintenance project in a developed country,” said Kang Wei, general manager of CCECC Israel.

Another Chinese company, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd, developed and manufactured the electric trains of the Red Line after winning an Israeli government bid.

The French rolling stock giant Alstom is also a partner in the project, responsible for the line’s signaling and control systems. ■

SourceXinhua, 2023-08-19.