Roundup: Israelis celebrate opening day of Tel Aviv's 1st light rail line

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 19, 2023
Adjust font size:

JERUSALEM, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- 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 line's operation came a day after an official inauguration ceremony attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ministers.

"I got up at a quarter to five in the morning to be the first. The train ride was a very pleasant, precise, and a different experience for someone who is used to traveling in a private car," the first passenger to board the train, 70-year-old Tel Aviv resident Kuti Elazar, told state-owned Kan TV news.

"This is a day of celebration, we are all excited," Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor Ron Huldai told Israel's Channel 12 TV news. "100,000 people from all over the country enjoyed a new transportation system and sensed the feeling of being abroad."

"In the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, there are now two periods, before the light rail and after, as from today everything will look different," Israeli Transport Minister Miri Regev said in a statement.

Leon, a hi-tech worker from Tel Aviv, told Xinhua that this is a long-awaited event for the Israelis, and he is glad to see that with the Chinese side sharing much expertise, "our lives have become more convenient."

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.

During the preparation process, CCECC actively promoted local employment, hiring about 500 local employees and providing professional technology and training to improve local operations," explained Kang, who is also president of the Chinese Enterprises Association in 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.

Walking into the bright and tidy carriage, one can see the obvious words "Made in China" and CRRC's logo, which is the traditional Chinese character "vehicle" in red.

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

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from