Minister of Transportation Katz orders plans drawn for high-speed railway extension from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, allowing riders to get from an underground station in the Old City, close to the Western Wall, to Tel Aviv in under half an hour.
By Ofer Petersburg
Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Yisrael Katz has instructed the ministry’s staff to promote the planning of an extension to the upcoming high-speed railway line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem so that it extends into the Old City, near the Western Wall. As part of the project, an underground stop will be built in the Western Wall area.
The extension will involve digging tunnels for two kilometers at a depth of 80 meters. Minister Katz mentioned that the extension should significantly decrease congestion at the Binyanei HaUma railway station, allowing tourists, students, and others to reach the Western Wall easily and quickly from central Israel.
The high-speed railway project’s costs are estimated to be about NIS 7 billion. It includes the laying of 56 kilometers of tracks, which go from Tel Aviv, through Ben Gurion Airport and Modi’in, and end in Jerusalem. Trips from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem are expected to take just 28 minutes.
- Israel approves high-speed train, Tel Aviv to Tiberias in 1 hour
- WATCH: Eilat’s new int’l airport to become operational Passover 2017
Work on the line is expected to conclude by the end of 2017, with its first voyages planned for Passover 2018. Three trains are expected to launch between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem each hour during peak times of day, with a total of four million trips per year.
The railway’s path includes about 22 kilometers of tunnels and about 7 kilometers of tracks on bridges. “The high-speed railway line to Jerusalem is the biggest project in the Israel Railways development plan, (and it) will connect the Shfela (south-central Israel) with Jerusalem and will allow thousands of workers who commute to and from Jerusalem every day to reach the capital quickly and comfortably,” Katz said.