A train runs parallel to the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
In order to complete infrastructural work required for the future Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high speed line, Israel Railways will shut down three of Tel Aviv’s central train stations for eight full days at the end of the month.
The Tel Aviv Shalom, Tel Aviv Savidor-Merkaz and Tel Aviv University stations will be closed beginning on September 19, reopening only on September 27 at 5 a.m., the company announced Sunday.
During the temporary shutdown, Israel Railways will be constructing rail and electrical infrastructure for the high-speed rail, which is slated to open in another two years, as well as doubling and widening the tracks between Tel Aviv University and Herzliya, it said.
“The infrastructure work is being done on existing rail lines or close to them, and includes the disassembly and reassembly of the tracks,” the company said.
“Over the course of the work, it is impossible to run trains along the route, and therefore, train movement will be interrupted in both the northbound and southbound work areas.”
Due to the closures, northern suburban rail traffic from Binyamina will run to and from Herzliya. Those passengers traveling from Haifa to Tel Aviv are therefore advised to travel by bus instead, the company said. Night trains from Nahariya toward Ben-Gurion Airport will also make their final stops at Herzliya, where a free bus will be available to and from the airport.
The train line from Jerusalem to Herzliya will only operate between Beit Shemesh and Lod, the company said.
As an alternative for some passengers, Israel Railways will operate a special train line between Nahariya to Beersheba, in both directions, that bypasses Tel Aviv, once an hour during the affected period. These trains, which will operate from 4:59- 9:30 am and from 12:59-7:27 pm, will stop at Nahariya, Acre, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Haim, Hutzot Hamifratz, Lev Hamifratz, the Haifa stations, Binyamina, Herzliya, Lod, Ramle, Kiryat Gat, Lehavim and Beersheba.
Another line will operate between Binyamina and Hod Hasharon, twice an hour in both directions, stopping at Binyamina, Caesarea-Pardess Hanna, Hadera, Netanya, Beit Yehoshua, Herzliya, Bnei Brak, the Petah Tikva stations, Rosh Ha’ayin, Kfar Saba and Hod Hasharon, the company said.
The Transportation Ministry will operate a high frequency shuttle, at no cost, between the Tel Aviv Hagana and Herzliya stations. In addition, bus service will be significantly increased from Tel Aviv to Haifa, Zichron Ya’acov, Hadera, Netanya, Kfar Saba, Hod Hasharon, Rosh Ha’ayin, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion and Beit Shemesh.
Those who hold weekly and monthly rail passes valid during the closure period will be eligible for compensation if one or more of the closed stations is included in the pass, Israel Railways said.
More details about specific train lines, as well as the buses set to replace them, are available on the Israel Railways website, at rail.co.il.
The announcement of the precise dates of this long-planned, eight-day closure comes just after Shabbat train work returned to normal, following a period of drama over the past two weeks.
Despite demands by haredim (ultra-Orthodox) that train work on Shabbat cease, and a crisis that left soldiers and other travelers without trains last Sunday, maintenance work occurred this weekend without any disturbances.Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.