Passenger income rose from Shekels 708m in 2016 to Shekels 748m last year, while passenger-km increased by 9% from 16.5 million to 18 million.

The 23km Galilee line from Acre to Carmiel has carried 1.09 million passengers since it opened on September 5 2017, while more than 2 million passengers have travelled on the 60km Jezreel Valley line linking Haifa and Beit Shee’an since it opened in October 2016.

Average punctuality for 2017 was 93.62%, which is slightly lower than the 94.3% recorded in 2016 due to high demand during peak hours which has increased station dwell times, compounded by an increase in the number of temporary speed restrictions where infrastructures works have been carried out.

Freight income increased by 1.6% from Shekels 187m in 2016 to Shekels 190m last year despite a small reduction in traffic from 9.2 million tonnes to 9.1 million tonnes. IR has opened a freight terminal at Rosh Ha-Ayin, and will open one at Dimona soon, while another terminal in under construction at Kiryat-Gat.