Jerusalem - Tel Aviv railway opening delayed six months

Jerusalem - Tel Aviv railway Photo: Channel 2

The line had been scheduled to open March 30 but Israel Railways says it will not receive the required regulatory approvals in time.

Israel Railways notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) this morning that the opening of the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv fast rail link has been postponed by six months. A statement said that, "The required regulatory approvals have not yet been received for operating the line for commercial passenger use as detailed in the periodical report. Consequently, the company estimates that operations will be postponed by about six months, subject to receipt of the aforementioned approvals."

The line had been scheduled to open on March 30 with te journey time between the two cities just 28 minutes.

Last night, Israel's police chief Roni Alsheikh met with Israel Railways management regarding the operation of the Tel Aviv - Jerusalem fast rail link. During the meeting, representatives of the fire and rescue services outlined the required safety features that were needed and the necessary training demanded for full commercial operations - these demands led to the postponement of the railway's opening.

Last month Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz took journalists on a test run on a 12 kilometer section near Mishmar Ayalon and announced that the new line would begin operations on March 30. Only last week, Ministry of Transport deputy director general Yaakov Blitstein insisted that the line would open on time.

Earlier this week, "Globes" revealed that with only just over a month to go before the rail link's opening, work was far from completed. Furthermore, engineers and safety experts warned that if the line was operated from the end of March, there was likely to be a disaster.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 21, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Jerusalem - Tel Aviv railway Photo: Channel 2
Jerusalem - Tel Aviv railway Photo: Channel 2
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