By Hedy Cohen
Israel Railways reached a major landmark in the construction of the high speed railway to Jerusalem: the first line to run on electricity. The company began laying tracks on the western section of the line, in the Ayalon Valley region.
The project is estimated to cost about NIS 7 billion, including the construction of two 5-kilometer tracks from Tel Aviv’s Haganah Statin to the entrance of Jerusalem, near the International Convention Center, as well as five tunnels, totaling 20 kilometers, and eight bridges.
Israel Railways also announced Monday that work was completed on the final section of the Negev line between Ashkelon beersheba. The project connected the rail from Ashkelon to the Goral Junction and to the existing railway in Beersheba, as well as the national rail network.
“The Negev railway is first and foremost a Zionist project,” Israel Railways CEO Boaz Tzafrir said. “The direct line between Ashkelon to Beersheba, through Sderot, Netivot and Ofakin, will boost employment in southern Israel, attract young couples to the region and increase the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of southern Israelis.”
“Alongside that project, we recently began laying the new tracks on the high speed railway to Jerusalem, where the development work has been going at an accelerated pace,” he said. “It’s a vision that is now becoming a reality.”