BRITAIN’s transport secretary, Mr Grant Shapps, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israel’s minister of transport and road safety, Ms Merav Michaeli, that will see the two countries share expertise on major rail projects. 

Crossrail International, a consultancy wholly owned by Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT), is currently providing support to Tel Aviv, where three light rail routes and a three-line metro network are being developed to serve 3 million passengers a day.

Under the MoU, the consultancy will provide advice to Israel on design, safety and standards for new railways, and will share expertise on ensuring that the construction of transport projects is as environmentally-friendly and sustainable as possible.

Crossrail International was formed in September 2017 to draw on the knowledge, skills and expertise gained during the construction of the Crossrail project in London, now known as the Elizabeth Line. It provides strategic advice to client organisations developing and delivering complex rail schemes.

The DfT says that Israel is Britain’s third-largest trading partner for transport goods, with Britain importing £144m of transport services from Israel in 2021.

It is now hoped that business opportunities in Israel will boost economic growth and job creation, as Britain renegotiates its existing trade agreement with that country, seeking improved access to major public-sector contracts and increased opportunities for the services sector.

“Today’s partnership further ingrains our commitment to a global Britain, helping our world-leading rail industry to extend its expertise to friends overseas, while unlocking fresh business opportunities to boost the British economy,” Shapps says.

“Following the successful launch of our iconic Elizabeth Line earlier this year, this memorandum is a fantastic opportunity for our British engineers and advisors to share their ingenuity with Israel as they undertake their largest-ever rail project in Tel Aviv.”

“Our aim is to share good practice, lessons learned and innovation to provide better outcomes and wider benefits for our respective societies,” says Crossrail International CEO, Mr Paul Dyson.

“Crossrail International is extremely proud to be a partner of this MoU and to act as a conduit of British knowledge, skills and expertise that will support the Israeli Ministry of Transport in the delivery of its transformational rail transit portfolio.”

“I am confident that the know-how we have shared and the agreements we have signed will result in better transport in both countries, and particularly greener, shared transport that the world needs so much as we face the climate crisis,” Michaeli says.

The May 2022 edition of IRJ includes a detailed description of light rail and metro projects in Tel Aviv. Digital subscribers can read the article here.

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