Northbound train which made emergency stop near Haifa.
(photo credit: GUY BAZAK)
The highly anticipated high-speed train that will connect Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in under 30 minutes will be operational in 2018, the head of Israel Railways announced on Monday.
During a tour with Knesset members at a construction site for the NIS 1.82 billion project, Boaz Tzafrir, CEO of the railway, said the train will take passengers from Jerusalem’s International Convention Center to Tel Aviv’s Hagana Station in 28 minutes flat.
Tzafrir added that as many as four trains an hour traveling at 99 miles per hour will be operational in both directions during rush hour, with intermediary stops at Ben-Gurion Airport, JNS reported.
The train, which will traverse eight bridges and six tunnels, will cut travel time by 45 minutes compared to the current train service available from the capital to Tel Aviv.
According to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, plans are already underway to add routes “from Kiryat Shmona in the North to Eilat in the South,” with a stop in the Old City of Jerusalem.
A subterranean, multi-story station at the entrance of Jerusalem featuring four 300-meter platforms accessible by elevators and escalators, will extend from the ICC to the Central Bus Station across the street, the ministry said.
The high-speed train, being completed with the help of nearly 700 engineers, eventually will have stops in Modi’in and Latrun, Katz said.
The train was supposed to be completed by 2017, but several hurdles – including budget overhauls requiring additional government investment and environmental concerns – led to the delay.