The Israel Ports Company and Israel Railways agreed to extend the rail line from Ashdod's veteran port station to the new Jubilee Port complex and build a new cargo terminal at an estimated cost of NIS 130 million, Israel Ports said Tuesday. Ashdod Port Company CEO Shuki Sagis said last week that a train line linking to the new Ashdod port complex must be built urgently. "It cannot be that a port operates without being reached by a train line," he said. The extension was decided Monday between Israel Ports Company Director-General Amos Ron and Israel Railways Director-General Ofer Linczewski. Ron and Linczewski also decided to further deepen strategic cooperation in planning the two key infrastructures, affirming that various projects would be jointly examined. These include the establishment of a cargo terminal in Israel's center and at border crossings that would be connected by rail to the country's sea ports; a new rail terminal at the expanding Port of Haifa; and a rail line connecting Ashdod with the Port of Eilat, where a rail terminal would be built. An agreed master plan will be prepared by a team of experts from both companies. Ron commented that coordinated development of both systems would also help reduce the amount of "heavy and dangerous cargo" being transported along Israel's road system. Separately, Netivei Ayalon said that it was beginning work on the Holon interchange, making space for a railway line (complete with overpass and separation walls), by moving the south-bound lanes of the Ayalon to the west. Pedestrian paths will also be integrated into the new design of the interchange, allowing passengers to access a train station to be built at the site by Israel Railways. NIS 150m. was budgeted for the project, which is being carried out by Shafir Engineering, Netivei Ayalon said.