The opening of the long-awaited high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway line has been postponed from March 30, the eve of Pesach (Passover), until at least September or October 2018.
Israel Railway officials announced this week that opening day is being delayed six months due to a holdup on “regulatory approvals” for the railway.
“The required regulatory approvals have not yet been received for operating the line for commercial passenger use as detailed in the periodical report,” Israel Railways said in a statement.
“Consequently, the company estimates that operations will be postponed by about six months, subject to receipt of the aforementioned approvals.”
The line is estimated to cut travel time from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem down to 28 minutes.
On Tuesday night, Israel Railway management had a meeting with Israel Police commissioner Roni Alsheikh to discuss the operation of the high speed railway.
Representatives of the fire and rescue services were also present to explain the required safety measures that are still not in place, and the necessary training that is required for full commercial operations – and that has yet to implemented.
Engineers and safety experts warned at least a month ago, and were quoted in a report by Globes that the line was far from ready, and that if officials attempted to rush its completion in time for the unrealistic deadline of March 30, disaster was likely to follow.