Israrail train Bombardier 311.
(photo credit: Bombardier)
A long-awaited safety plan was agreed upon overnight Thursday between the Israel
Railways employees committee, avoiding a rail workers’ strike and ending weeks
of difficult negotiations.
RELATED:Katz to shut down trains unless new safeties implemented Israel Railways cancels plans to disrupt train services
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said safe
and reliable rail travel “presents a solution to some of the housing problems of
Tel Aviv and the central area.”
The plan will allow “quality people to
move to the periphery, and young people and students to stay in the periphery
and work in Tel Aviv,” he said.
Katz said in June he would shut down rail
service unless a new safety plan was proposed.
The ultimatum came
following a spate of accidents this year, including a collision between two
trains that injured 60 people in Netanya.
Meanwhile, the national rail
carrier is set to unveil a series of changes designed to make train travel more
convenient and reliable.
Lines are set to open late next month between
Tel Aviv and Holon, and between Bat Yam and Rishon Lezion. Travel from Tel Aviv
to Holon will take just 10 minutes, and 18 minutes from Tel Aviv to Rishon
Lezion. In January, the line will be extended to Yavne, just a 28-minute ride
from Tel Aviv.
A month later, the doubling of the Tel Aviv-Beersheba line
will allow travel between the two cities in as little as 50 minutes.