A bridge, part of the tracks of Israel's new high-speed rail line between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is seen in the outskirts of Jerusalem (September 23, 2018).
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)
Approximately 20 kilometers of the new high-speed railway link connecting Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion Airport lack necessary security cameras, public broadcaster Kan reported on Tuesday as members of the public traveled on the line for the first time.
According to the report, another two years are needed for the remaining cameras to be installed in five tunnels, although their absence did not prevent emergency services from granting approval for the line’s operation.
Originally due to open in 2008, Israel’s 57-km. flagship infrastructure project has been plagued by repeated lengthy delays and soaring costs. With electrical work still ongoing between the Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport stations, it was decided to partially open the line this week.
On Sunday, the Israel Police approved opening the railway after rescue services successfully carried out an exercise to test their response to an emergency deep inside one of the new line’s longest tunnels.
No date has been announced for the opening of the full Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line, although authorities expect electrical work to be completed in mid-2019.
Trains on the completed line are expected to reach a maximum speed of 160 kph (100 mph), and carry passengers between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in approximately 28 minutes.
Until then, those wishing to travel by train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv will need to disembark at Ben-Gurion Airport and board a diesel-powered train.
For 90 days that began on Tuesday, passengers can ride for free from Jerusalem, but must order in advance online from a limited number of tickets and have a Rav-Kav travel card. Only 400 tickets will be available for each train.
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