Passenger trains will travel to Dimona for the first time since the 1970s beginning Saturday night, Israel Railways director-general Ofer Linczewski said Tuesday. The revived train service was a sign of the importance of bringing the periphery closer to the center of the country, he said. Upgrading the line and the station had cost NIS 18 million, and several unguarded crossings had been eliminated, he said, adding that he hoped 150,000 passengers would use the line in 2006 and 900,000 annually by 2015.
Completion of the double track between Ashdod and Ashkelon, and to Ben-Gurion Airport, will enable more frequent trains. h