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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel Railways’

Negev Loses Airport Night Trains

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Residents of southern Israel – particularly those living in the periphery communities in the Negev – will no longer have the option of taking the train to and from the airport after 11:00 p.m.

A spokesperson for Israel Railways told The Jewish Press on Thursday morning the service just didn’t pay for itself. “The government and the railway company made the decision together,” said the spokesperson, who added the figures totaled only an average of five or six riders per night on the line. “It wasn’t cost effective.”

Instead, it was decided the Metropoline Bus Service will take over the route, she said. Bus #469 will begin at the Arlozorov station in Tel Aviv and then make a stop at the airport, travel to Kiryat Gat and then go to the central bus station in Be’er Sheva.

That’s a solution for folks who live in the city of Be’er Sheva itself, perhaps – but what about those who live in the small periphery towns where bus service doesn’t exist overnight?

“Tough luck, baby,” said one consumer. “We’re stuck with paying hundreds of shekels for travel after 11 pm, just like we always have – and that after first spending hours traveling to the other cities just to get a little closer. Instead of paying NIS 600 to get home, I end up paying NIS 300 from Be’er Sheva, but spend three more hours after a 12-hour flight and another hour or more in baggage claims. Forget it.”

The Negev region comprises 60 percent of the nation’s land mass – but its travel network has yet to be developed to the point that even half of its communities have any access to railway service at all.

When asked why there is still no railway branch route to Arad, for example — while Dimona, a city of similar size and population, has had one for several years – the spokesperson for Israel Railways could not find a reason. Arad, a ‘clean air’ resort town located about 45 minutes east of Be’er Sheva and 25 minutes west of the Dead Sea, is in the midst of a major development boom due to the expansion of Route 31, which runs between the two points.

The Nevatim air base is located near Route 31 – described in Hebrew media as ‘death road’ due to the high number of motor vehicle fatalities that have occurred along the highway — as is the Nahal army base at Tel Arad.

Israel Railways Proposes Ambitious Plan to Link Israel with Judea and Samaria By Rail

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Officials at the state-owned Israel Railways confirmed that it has completed a proposal to establish train service in Judea and Samaria for both Israeli and Palestinian passengers.

The plan, first reported on Monday by Haaretz, was prepared at the request of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. According to a map obtained by the Israeli daily, it calls for the construction of 11 new rail lines. The map reveals that Israel Railways has proposed 475 kilometers of rail, and includes a Jenin-Nablus-Ramallah-Jerusalem-Ma’aleh Adumim-Bethlehem-Hebron line, and another that would run along the Jordanian border from Eilat to Beit She’an and then on to Haifa. According to the report, the map was submitted to the top brass of the the IDF’s Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria in December.

Likud MK Katz has made no secret of his intention to erect a railway system that would criss-cross Judea and Samaria. The report stated that Katz has already allocated 3 million shekels for a train-line from Rosh Ha’ayin to Sh’chem in Samaria, and that specs for the first part of the line – from Rosh Ha’ayin to the city of Ariel in Samaria – have already been drafted.

In a preface to the proposal, Israel Railways states that its objective is to “address the transportation needs of local residents and other passengers.” Another important objective is increasing the “continuity between the rail network within the Green Line and the planned network in Judea and Samaria.” The proposal also envisions extending the rail lines to other Arab countries.

The proposal does not offer a time frame nor a price estimate. And, beyond the financial and legal obstacles, intense cooperation with the PA would be necessary. Officials from both Israel Railways and the Israeli government acknowledged that this would be a tall task, especially in the current climate of official Palestinian incitement and implacability regarding the peace process.

A spokesperson for Israel Railways said, on condition of anonymity, “We have presented a plan sought by the transport ministry, but for the moment nothing has been done on the ground. The decision on the construction of railways is the responsibility of politicians.”

The transport ministry had no immediate comment.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israel-railways-proposes-ambitious-plan-to-link-israel-with-judea-and-samaria-by-rail/2012/02/27/

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