Photo Credit: Amymeton Eng.
Two of 20 bridges on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed train line.

The long-planned and long-delayed high-speed train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is getting closer Israel Railways has begun to lay tracks for the western section of the line in the Ayalon Valley, west of Jerusalem.

The target date for launching passenger train on the new line is January 2018, 17 years after construction began.

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The project is costing approximately $2 billion and includes five tunnels and 20 bridges. Israel Railways also announced that the new passenger line between Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon will begin operations in September.

Israel Railways CEO Boaz Tzafrir said Monday:

The Negev railway is first and foremost a Zionist project. The direct line between Ashkelon to Be’er Sheva through Sderot, Netivot, and Ofakim – will boost employment in southern Israel, attract young couples to the region, and increase the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of southern Israelis.

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