The appointment of the general manager will be followed by the establishment of the complete managerial structure for the company and the appointment of a strategic investor. The Isareli government requires that this entity hold a 51% stake in the Railfreight Company, and thus establish it as a public-private enterprise.

IR confirmed last week that its current railfreight business reported a 14% increase in first half revenues to Shekels 86.2m, following an improvement in volumes from 3.47 million tonnes in the first half of 2013 to 3.61 million tonnes in the first half of this year.

"The new company will do its best to increase the volume of freight by rail, thus reducing the number of trucks and their mileage, improvements to road safety, and a reduction in carbon emissions," says Mr Boaz Tsafrir, IR CEO.