First Jerusalem-Tel Aviv railway test run executed successfully

"This test is an important achievement for the national project to electrify the railway network, and which comes after great effort and intensive work," said Israel Railways CEO Michael Maixner.

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September 8, 2019 06:51
1 minute read.
First Jerusalem-Tel Aviv railway test run executed successfully

An electric train arrives at Tel Aviv's HaHagana railway station on September 6, 2019. (photo credit: ISRAEL RAILWAYS)

Israel Railways and the Transportation Ministry successfully executed the first test run on the newly-electrified railway line between Tel Aviv’s Hahagana railway station and Jerusalem’s Yitzhak Navon station on Friday morning.

The trial, Israel Railways said in a statement, is intended to test the high-speed line’s electrical infrastructure and identify issues ahead of the full operation of the route, which is “expected by the end of the year.”

The test run was initially scheduled to take place a week ago Friday, but was postponed following a labor dispute between the railway workers union and railway management that threatened to further delay the opening of Israel’s flagship infrastructure project. Originally due to open in 2008, the electrified line remains in operation only from Jerusalem’s Yitzhak Navon station to Ben-Gurion Airport, where passengers must switch to a train with a diesel-powered locomotive.

“This test is an important achievement for the national project to electrify the railway network, and which comes after great effort and intensive work,” said Israel Railways CEO Michael Maixner.

“I hope this is a positive sign for further progress in the project and leading the Israeli railways and transportation system into a more advanced era.”

In September 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-transportation minister Israel Katz inaugurated the partially completed railway.

While no exact date has been announced by Israel Railways regarding the opening of the extended line, trains are slated to reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h, and carry passengers between the two cities within approximately 28 minutes when work is eventually completed.

The project, which has required the construction of nine bridges and five tunnels, is expected to cost a total of NIS 7 billion, more than double its original estimate. After reaching Hahagana, electrification work on the railways is scheduled to continue to connect Tel Aviv’s four stations and end at Herzliya.


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