Israel Railways executives promised on Sunday that the high-speed train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will be complete on time.

“We will be in time – the train will reach Jerusalem in December 2017,” said Boaz Tzafrir, CEO of Israel Railways.

Guiding members of the Knesset State Control Committee on a tour of the railway’s work site on Sunday, Tzafrir told MKs that the train would be complete as planned, with commercial operations beginning three months later, in March 2018. The electric trains will run at a speed of 160 km. per hour, with four trains operating per hour during peak times of the day, according to Dror Sofro, Israel Railways project director. “All in all, the journey will take about 30 minutes,” he said.

As of now, Israel Railways workers have completed work on about half of the tracks on the line, Sofro said.

Israel Railways today operates 461 passenger trains daily and serves 45 million passengers per year, Tzafrir said. Within six years, the number of trains operating each day is expected to double.

Tzafrir said that soon ticket prices for traveling by train will drop and operation hours will be extended on Fridays and on Saturday nights.

Praising the project, MK Miki Rosenthal (Labor) said that the new railway will “change the whole fabric of life in the country.”

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