Much of the growth is attributed to the introduction of a new timetable in June which brought increased frequencies on many routes and a daily record of 196,000 passengers. This was achieved despite military action in Gaza in July and August, which led to the total or partial suspension of services on the Ashkelon – Shderot and Ashkelon – Ashdod lines.

Ridership on Ashkelon – Tel Aviv services increased grew by 21%, while Hod – Tel Aviv saw a 15% rise.

Punctuality also improved from 93% in 2013 to 95% last year.

The freight business also experienced steady growth in 2014 with volumes climbing 12% to 7.5 million tonnes and revenues increasing by 15% to $US 43m.