Train travel time to be cut in half

In two years' time the Tel Aviv-Beersheba train will arrive at its destination in just 45 minutes instead of the 80 minutes it takes now, reports On a visit to Beersheba's Ben-Gurion University before this week's municipal elections, Israel Railways head Yitzhak Harel said that work now being done on the train line as part of Israel Railways' NIS 2.3 billion southern project will ultimately cut the travel time between the two cities almost in half. According to the report, the project involves doubling the existing train track and building a new line, as well as constructing 40 bridges and six passenger stations. The work is scheduled for completion in 2011. The report said that Harel and university officials discussed a number of relevant issues, including the construction of an underground passageway under the train line that would allow students and staff to move safely between the current campus and the planned future campus; the coordination of train schedules with the beginning and end of the school day; and the arranging of extra trains for special events at the university.