CAF- Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles

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A publicly-traded Spanish company specializing in designing and implementing transit systems, and manufacturing railway vehicles, equipment, and buses. CAF provides project and engineering management that include system design, civil work, signalling, electrification and other electromechanical systems, rolling stock supply and system operation and maintenance.

The Jerusalem Light Rail

In 2019, CAF and its Israeli partner Shapir Engineering & Industry Ltd., won a tender from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transportation and the Jerusalem Municipality for J-Net project to expand the Jerusalem light rail (JLR) network, which connects Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem to the western part of the city. CAF and Shapir carry out the J-Net project through their jointly owned consortium CFIR Light Rail Ltd. (formerly TransJerusalem J-Net Ltd).

The J-Net project, estimated at NIS 11 billion (more than USD 3 billion), includes the construction, operation and maintenance of the Green Line, and the extension, operation and maintenance of the existing Red Line, formerly operated by the CityPass consortium since 2011. The tender includes the operation and maintenance of both lines, for a period of 15 years (with an option for additional 10 years) and for 25 years, respectively. In April 2021, the consortium commenced the 15-year concession to operate the two lines.

The project entails the extension of the Red Line from the settlement neighborhood of Pisgat Ze`ev to the settlement neighborhood of Neve Yaakov, including the construction of 27 kilometers of new track, 53 new stations and various depots covering the entire stretch of the current Red Line (6.8 kilometers), and the construction of the new 20.6 km long Green Line, which will run from Gilo settlement through the city center to Mt. Scopus.

According to the contract, CAF will provide the design and supply 57 electric trains (114 tram wagons) for the new Green Line, and the refurbishment of the 46 trams which are currently in service on the existing Red Line, at an estimated cost of EUR 3 million per train, a total of about NIS 1.2 billion. CAF will also supply the signalling, energy and communication systems.

CAF and Shapir also hold 50% each in LAVI Light Rail O&M Ltd. (formerly J-Net O&M Ltd), the Operation and Maintenance contractor of the JLR project.

The Red Line connects the settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev in occupied East Jerusalem to Mt. Herzel, passing through the city center, and is currently being extended north to include the settlement of Neve Ya'akov. The complete extended route of the Red Line will stretch for about 21 km with 23 stations, passing through the settlement neighborhoods of Neve Ya’akov, Pisgat Ze’ev, French Hill, Givat HaMivtar, Ramat Eshkol and Ma’alot Dafna. The extension work began in August 2021 and it is expected to complete by the end of 2023.

The Green Line route will connect Gilo settlement neighborhood to Mt. Scopus, passing through the city center and the settlement neighborhoods of Ramat Eshkol, Ma’alot Dafna and the French Hill, significantly easing access between the settlement and the western part of the city.

In May 2022, two CAF trains new model URBOS100 arrived from CAF factory in Spain to the port of Ashdod and from there to the depot in the French Hill settlement neighborhood. Additional trains that will arrive will be absorbed in the new depot in Neve Ya’akov settlement neighborhood.

In April 2022, the Jerusalem municipality signed an agreement with CAF and Shapir to reward the companies with NIS 10 million for each month of advancement of work on the Green Line. The agreement stipulates that for every month that the company is ahead of schedule, it will receive NIS 5 million plus all income from the purchase of tickets, which is estimated at an additional NIS 5 million.